Timelines, oh we love timelines

There has been aired on Iraqi television what purports to be a confession from a terrorist that he was trained and employed by Syrian Intelligence:

Iraqi state television aired a video yesterday showing what the U.S.-funded channel said was the confession of a captured Syrian officer, who said he trained Iraqi terrorists to behead people and build car bombs to attack American and Iraqi troops.

He also said the terrorists practiced beheading animals to train for decapitating hostages.

Later, Al Iraqiya aired another round of interviews with men it said were Sudanese and Egyptians who also trained in Syria to carry out attacks in Iraq.

In the first video, the man, identified as Lt. Anas Ahmed al-Essa of the Syrian intelligence service, said his group had been recruited to “cause chaos in Iraq … to bar America from reaching Syria.”

“We received all the instructions from Syrian intelligence,” Lt. al-Essa, 30, said on a video broadcast by state-run Al Iraqiya, which can be seen nationwide.

The first tape apparently was made in the northern city of Mosul, but no date was provided. It was not possible to authenticate the claims.

The State Department said they were looking into the report, but as of late yesterday, they could neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the broadcast or that a Syrian intelligence officer had been captured.

I’m waiting for more info before I accept this as true. There is lots of evidence to corroborate this, but what I really want to see corroborated is this:

“I was trained on explosives, killing, spying, kidnapping … and after one year, I went to Iraq with Fady Abdullah,” Lt. al-Essa said.

He said he infiltrated Iraq in 2001, about two years before the U.S. invasion, because Syrian intelligence was convinced American military action loomed.

The invasion was in March 2003. If he was there two years, then that puts him in Iraq in the spring of 2001, well before September 11, 2001. Even more damning, that means that he started training sometime in 2000 — well before the 9/11/01 attacks.

What did Syria know, and when did they know it?


  1. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I say we recruit some secret agents and have them go around to liquor stores and kidnap, torture and decapitate the Arab owners. Indians and Koreans will not be harmed

  2. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    That artcle kind of makes you wonder about things like beheading. I always thought you get the victim on the ground and come down with a pretty good chop, like chopping wood and their head pops off. I never knew one would need a class. I wonder if they had books and a sylabus. Did they study different methods of beheading including the guillotine? Has anybody told PETA that they were testing on animals? Man this makes it complicated

  3. Whether the article is true or not, Syria may be next. It would be wise to cover our left flank before taking out Iran. Then, Saudi Arabia would be effectively surrounded. Perhaps the Saudis will undergo social modifictaion without military intervenetion.
    Still, somewhere cash registers continue to ring. While it helps the demand curve if people blow up what they buy, many of the cash registers are for gas pumps.

  4. Phelps says:

    It’s more gruesome than that, G. I’ve looked into beheading as an execution, like midieval beheading with axes and swords, and that is very difficult to do correctly and in one swing. If you think about it, not only is there the spine that you have to make sure you don’t allow to turn your blade, but there is a hell of a lot of muscle and tendons there (think about all that you need to be able to turn your head and work your jaw.) Midieval executioners would actually be tipped by the condemned to make sure that they did a good, quick, clean job.

    The problem is that they aren’t doing a one swing midieval execution. They aren’t doing it like Saudia Arabia handles their beheadings, for example. These guys are taking a medium knife (like a kitchen knife) and sawing the head off over several minutes, like an animal being slaughtered (and that imagery is intentional.) And even that does take some training, because anyone who has butchered a deer can tell you that if you don’t do it right, you’ll be there all day.

    As for Syria being next, I think that we are playing it by ear. Obviously, we would want to have these guys implode or reform on thier own (ala Lybia and Quadaffi), but we have to be ready to move on one that presents itself as a danger. We got to do Iraq on our timetable, but I think that is the last one. We have to be ready to move into Iran if they get close to a bomb, Syria if they get ready to invade a neighbor (like Iraq or Israel — they already have Lebanon) and still be able to make a surge in the Pacific to counter Korea if they get the bomb or (worst-case) China if they move on Taiwan.

  5. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I want to take beheading 101….I doubt the Syrians will go after the Jews agian They like 0-4 agianst them. In the world series that qualifies as being swept

  6. Phelps says:

    You’re assuming that dictatorial regimes are rational actors. History does not bear out that assumption.

  7. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    Yeah but what bookie is going to take the bets? I mean damn everybody will be putting their money on Israel. Damn, I have a sweet Idea. We put our $$ on the Syrians and get the Jews to throw the war and split the winnings with them, then we rob the bookies and keep all of the money for ourselves and then hide in Poland where there are no more Jews. It’ll be just like the movie Hollywood Nights with Eddie Murphy. Fool proof plan there is no way a Jew is going to pass up that kind of $$ even if it means giving his holy land to the Arabs.

  8. Phelps says:

    Won’t work — you are forgetting the Serbian Jew Double Bluff.

  9. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    Damn it!!!!

  10. Mexigogue says:

    I have enough trouble cutting a whole chicken into 8 parts. I can’t imagine cutting a person’s head off with a regular knife. I’d get about halfway done and then make a deal with the victim to just take his picture and then photoshop it to make it look like he was beheaded. Then I’d call a cab to take him to the hospital.

  11. I went through this with kitchen knives. I found out that serrated blades are better for sawing things apart. Besides, they generally don’t need sharpening.