Al-Sadr can wage jihad against the U.S. with impunity, since he knows a decisive strike against him is virtually inconceivable. And it also seems clear that Al-Sadr has friends among the new Iraqi police force. “Kidnapping of Americans Linked to al Sadr: Four Contractors Taken Prisoner When Convoy Was Ambushed, Military Officials Say,” by Luis Martinez for ABCNews, with thanks to Twostellas:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2006 “” A senior Defense Department official told ABC News that Shiite militiamen tied to anti-American cleric Moqtada al Sadr were behind the abduction of four American security contractors and an Austrian co-worker seized in a brazen attack on a supply convoy near the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
The search for the missing contractors resulted in a raid by coalition forces earlier today near the Kuwait border that resulted in the deaths of two Iraqi gunmen, but no hostages were found.
Throughout the day, statements from Iraqi officials “” later discounted “” led to reports that some of the hostages had been released or found dead. However, their employer, Crescent Security Group, said there had been no claim of responsibility, no demand for ransom and no communication of any kind from the hijackers.
Despite the confusion, new details emerged about the incident Thursday that took place 20 kilometers north of the Iraqi city of Safwan, located near the border with Kuwait.
A senior defense official said it was believed that the gunmen who ambushed the convoy were wearing newly issued Iraqi police uniforms that are supposed to be tightly controlled, hard to duplicate and were issued only last month.
Only a month ago, the coalition began distributing the digitally altered blue camouflage uniforms to National Police Brigades. The uniforms are also tied to the mass kidnapping earlier this week in Baghdad at the Education Ministry.