RealNews

Hunt in N. Iraq For al Qaeda Is Hit and Miss

The word came at 11:15 a.m. — al Qaeda suspect in the southeast sector of the city. At the Kirkuk air base, headquarters for the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo weighed his options. Orders had come from Central Command to move this weekend against anyone suspected of posing a threat to U.S. forces, an operation across Iraq called Desert Scorpion. Saturday night, Caraccilo’s men had picked up 13 former military and intelligence officials and members of deposed president Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, detaining them at the air base. But in northern Iraq — particularly near the Iranian border, where an al Qaeda-linked guerrilla group called Ansar al-Islam had been based until the war — U.S. forces are particularly concerned with tracking down suspected al Qaeda operatives. The effort has so far proved frustrating. Full Story

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