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Iran Arming Iraqi Militias Via Chinese Arms Purchases

As Lt. General Ray Odierno states that Iran-armed Shi'a militias are behind 3/4 of the attacks in and around baghdad that have killed Americans, noted China analyst John Tkacik, Jr. reports that China is a principle weapons source for the Iranians arming the Iraqi militias.

Tkacik wrote that "according to a knowledgeable Bush administration official, "vast amounts" of Chinese-made large caliber sniper rifles, "millions of rounds" of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and "IED [improvised explosive device] components" have been convoyed from Iran into Iraq and to the Taliban in Afghanistan."

He adds that "Some items show Iran has made "urgent" requests for "vast amounts" of Chinese-made sniper rifles, apparently exact copies of the Austrian-made Steyr-Mannlicher HS50."

300 Fatah Terrorists Accept Israeli Amnesty Deal

An offer of amnesty from Israel was accepted by more than 300 members of Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in the West Bank. Over the weekend, a senior Palestinian security official said that, since the amnesty offer last month, "more than 300 Al Aqsa gunmen have surrendered their weapons and pledged to refrain from violence."

In Gaza, the IDF's attacks on terrorists continue, as three members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were killed, two in an airstrike and one in a separate incident. Israel said the two killed in an airstrike were preparing for an attack on Israel. One of the vehicles destroyed, a truck, displayed several large secondary explosions indicating it was carrying explosives.

AQ Mastermind of al-Askaria Mosque Bombing Killed

In a US airstrike last Tuesday, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the February 2006 bombing of the al-Askari mosque in Samarra was killed and his successor later detained by Iraqi forces in operations north of Baghdad in the Samarra area. The bombing of the al-Askaria mosque in Samarra last year touched off a wave of Sunni-Shia sectarian violence that came to define the Iraq conflict for the whole of 2006.

But as US and Coalition security gains on the ground throughout Iraq continue to accumulate, the political situation surrounding the Iraqi government in Baghdad continues to be a concern. Iraqi PM al-Maliki refused to accept the resignations of all six cabinet members of the Sunni bloc, the Accordance Front. The members of the bloc quit the government last week. But Washington "downplayed the significance" of the Accordance Front's withdrawal from government. And, as the VOA article notes, they had already "been boycotting cabinet meetings since June to protest legal proceedings against Culture Minister Asad al-Hashimi, who is accused of arranging to have another politician killed."

In the United States, the House of Representatives approved the Defense Spending Bill, which funds Iraq operations through fiscal year 2008.

US Embassies Threatened In New al-Qaeda Video

The United States was threatened once again of attack "both at home and abroad" in a new al-Qaeda video released on the Internet and produced by al-Qaeda's as-Sahab media group. American al-Qaeda member Adam Gadahn (nom de guerre Azzan al-Amriki) spoke in English and appeared first approximately 58 minutes into the 77-minute production, which also includes warning and denunciation from al-Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri.

In one of Gadahn's 'segments,' he says, "Years of bitter trial and experience have revealed the danger (embassies) pose and shown that the only way to deal with them when they refuse to leave of their own accord is to expel them by force." Al-Qaeda's most prominent English speaker in their video propaganda releases, Gadahn stumbled on his words more than once and could be seen looking away from the camera, possibly at cue cards for reference.

The video is titled "Will of Martyr Hafiz Usman (Who carried out the Martyrdom operation against the American Consulate at the Gate of Islam, Karachi)," and most of its contents are recordings of his will and testament before he blew himself up in the 2006 bombing which killed U.S. diplomat David Foy in Karachi. It contains fairly extensive footage of the making of the car bomb and its components.

One analyst described the video release as "a documentary that has strategic value for al-Qaeda's Information Operations campaign in Pakistan." It is the full video release expected after al-Qaeda announced that America is in store for a 'big surprise'.

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