Counter-Terrorism: August 30, 2005


Although there has been a gradual increase in the number of attacks in both Afghanistan and Iraq over the past few weeks, which will probably continue as both countries prepare for elections, the overall effectiveness of those attacks has been declining. Nevertheless, it appears that the training provided to  some of the terrorists in both countries has been improving. In recent months Coalition troops and local security forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq have encountered;

@ Coordinated Attacks. Coordinated attacks are those in which the terrorists manage to "set up" troops or security personnel. For example, by baiting them with an apparent sniper attack, so that when they respond they are hit by an ambush or and IED.

@ Rocket & Mortar Accuracy. While still not up to US/NATO standards, reportedly there has been a marked improvement in the accuracy of terrorist rocket and mortar attacks. 

These improvements in terrorist capabilities appear to reflect superior training. In Afghanistan, the training is certainly being provided by al Qaeda or its affiliates, apparently operating out of secret camps in tribal regions of northwestern Pakistan. While al Qaeda is likely to have a hand in some of the training programs for the Iraqi terrorists, it is also likely that former Baath Party military and security personnel have been developing training programs inside the country, and perhaps in adjacent countries as well, with or without the consent of the local governments.


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