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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:58 AM
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Death Squads Online
Death Squads Online
As if things weren't bad enough, now Iraq's sectarian butchers are posting their execution lists on the Internet.
By Christian Caryl and Michael Hastings

Oct. 16, 2006 issue - Not long ago, Mohammed Kika found out that his name had appeared on a London-based Web site run by Sunni exiles from Iraq. The Baghdad man was accused of betraying other Sunnis to a Shiite militia in the mixed neighborhood of Mansour, receiving a $200 bounty for each one he identified. The posting even disclosed the name of the barbershop where Kika could be found. He ran for his life, friends and family told NEWSWEEK. At first he hid out in the Shiite neighborhood of Karrada, and then he fled the country.

Iraq's sectarian war is spreading onto the Web. Some Iraqis, like Kika, have been forced into hiding or exile after being targeted on the Internet. Others may have run too slowly. Sunni and Shiite Web sites offer warnings to Iraqis about neighborhoods and ministries that may have been infiltrated by militias, but the sites are also increasingly used as tools by those seeking names, addresses and occupations of citizens to kill. (NEWSWEEK has found at least eight of these sites, but we have decided not to publish their Web addresses.) The outings are openly endorsed by some Iraqi leaders. Jalal al-Din Saghir, an influential Shiite cleric and parliamentary deputy, sponsors several sites. "Some of the Web sites can be used to catch spies by tracking their movements," he told NEWSWEEK.

Rising sectarian violence has become the No. 1 threat to Iraq's stability, with more than 2,500 Iraqis killed violently in September. Much of the killing is linked to death squads in Iraq's heavily Shiite police force, an agency that would scarcely exist without U.S. training and funding. Last week the U.S. military removed an entire Iraqi national police brigade from duty after American soldiers received reports that the unit was involved in death-squad activities. Military investigators are tracing possible links to the notorious Mahdi Army militia, which is believed to be running Shiite death squads in Baghdad. Efforts to build a reliable Iraqi police force seem nearly hopeless anyway: this summer alone the Interior Ministry reportedly fired at least 1,700 bad cops.

And the violence in the streets keeps getting nastier. Until recently, death threats in Iraq arrived the old-fashioned waya flier found on a family's doorstep, warning them to leave the neighborhood or suffer the consequences. Now Iraq's sectarian killers have discovered the anonymity and long reach of the Internet.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:03 AM
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1. MSNBC actually used the phrase 'sectarian war'
does this make them the first msm to jump ship and actually call what is going on in Iraq a civil or sectarian war?
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