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Latest Attacks Underscore Differing Intelligence Estimates

The coordinated suicide bombings carried out here Monday morning were the work of “foreign fighters,” Brig. Gen. Mark Hertling, deputy commander of the First Armored Division, said a few hours after the attacks. His assertion contrasted starkly with a statement less than 24 hours earlier by Brig. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the division commander. At a news conference here Sunday evening, he said he had not seen “any infusion of foreign fighters in Baghdad.” The conflicting statements in such a short space of time reflect the state of the intelligence gathering here. No issue has proved as confounding during the past six months as the identity of insurgents and the degree of coordination between them. General Hertling told reporters that the belief that the latest attacks were the work of foreign fighters was based on the nature of the attacks and “intelligence indicators.” He declined to elaborate. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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