Posted by Curt on 1 January, 2007 at 11:25 am. 8 comments already!

Here we go again with the AP.  Coalition forces had a firefight today in Baghdad in which they killed six of the enemy.  During the fight two buildings caught fire:

Coalition Forces killed six terrorists and detained one suspected terrorist during a fierce firefight Monday morning in Baghdad.

Intelligence reports indicated the targeted location was used as a possible safe house for al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists to conduct operational planning.

While approaching the targeted area, Coalition Forces received heavy automatic weapons fire and hand grenades from the top of several nearby buildings.  Coalition Forces returned fire killing two terrorists.  Several armed men fled to a third building.

Coalition Forces received fire from the top of the third building and they returned fire.  Coalition Forces were able to establish a foothold in one of the adjacent buildings. 

Due to the heavy amount of enemy fire received two buildings caught on fire. 

While receiving heavy automatic weapons fire from many directions, Coalition Forces managed to kill four more terrorists and detain one.

One of the buildings from which Coalition Forces received heavy enemy fire, including grenade launches, was later identified as belonging to Dr. Salih al-Mutlaq al-Dulaymi, the Chairman for the Iraqi National Dialogue Council.  

But the AP, using a "anonymous" police source now (cough), print how the police say it was a airstrike:

But police described the incident as an airstrike that killed four members of a family and wounded a guard outside al-Khafaji’s house. A man at the scene said a guard at al-Mutlaq’s office was also killed, but the police could not confirm his account.

AP Television News video showed rubble in the area and what appeared to be a long smear of blood from a body dragged across the floor. Walls in the buildings were pitted with marks apparently from bullets and shrapnel.

How much you want to bet this "police" official is another "Jamil Hussein"?  It went from a firefight to a airstrike that killed a family.  The writer of this story is a Muhieddin Rashad. Doing a Lexis-Nexis search I found 40 stories where this author is named but since I don’t have a subscription to Lexis all I could get was the first few sentences of twenty of the stories.  From the few I have been able to find still on the web I found an interesting name beside Muhieddin Rashad as contributors to the story:

Qais al-Bashir

The same writer responsible for the Jamil Hussein story.  Digging a bit deeper into Mr. Rashad’s writing history I find that in this story written on October 20th he used Lt. Maytham Abdul-Razzaq as a source. 

Police also said at least four people were killed and 13 wounded when a pair of roadside bombs went off in quick succession in the same spot in a residential part of the southern Dora district of Baghdad.

The first blast killed two civilians and wounded 11. A second explosion five minutes later, targeting police and rescuers who arrived at the scene, killed two policemen and wounded two others, police Lt. Maytham Abdul-Razzaq said.

Name ring a bell?  It’s the "officer" who had a arrest warrant issued for him after he was found to be a fraud. 

Of note, we definitely know that one IP spokesman – Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq of the city’s Yarmouk police station (a.k.a. police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq) is not authorized to speak on behalf of the IP and the MOI supposedly issued a warrant for his questioning. That happened a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t seen his name recently.

In this one he is a contributor, along with Qais, in which they mention police 1st Lt. Mahmoud Khayyoun as a source.  Another suspected fraudulent source.

So what do we have here?  We have a new AP story out today in which they use anonymous "police" sources to dispute Centcom’s version of a firefight.  That same story is written by a man who has helped write stories in the past with Qais al-Bashir of Jamil Hussein fame, plus he has used a known fraud for his work in the past also.

Sound like the AP is changing their ways?

Don’t bet on it.

UPDATE 1415hrs PST

Reuters has gotten in on the act with their article, but this time they at least included a statement from the military:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – U.S. forces said they were fired on from an office building belonging to a leading Sunni Arab politician during a raid on a suspected al Qaeda safehouse in Baghdad on Monday in which six insurgents were killed.

Saleh al-Mutlaq, an outspoken member of parliament whose Iraqi National Dialogue group is part of the U.S.-backed political process, said U.S. forces had targeted his office, killing two security guards and wounding two more.

Speaking to Reuters by telephone from outside Iraq, Mutlaq also said a family of four, including two children, were killed in an adjacent building during the raid on Monday.

He said the raid was a provocation and said the U.S.-backed government should be targeting Shi’ite militias blamed for operating death squads rather than his political party.

"Coalition forces killed six terrorists and detained one suspected terrorist during a fierce firefight Monday morning in Baghdad," a U.S. statement said.

"Intelligence reports indicated the targeted location was used as a possible safe house for al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists to conduct operational planning," it said, adding U.S. forces were fired on from several buildings nearby and that two buildings caught fire because of the intense firefight.

"One of the buildings from which Coalition Forces received heavy enemy fire, including grenade launches, was later identified as belonging to Dr. Saleh al-Mutlaq," it said.

[…]Asked about reports of civilian casualties, a U.S. military spokesman said by email: "We are not aware of any civilians being injured or killed in this morning’s raid. Coalition Forces returned fire against armed terrorists only. The terrorists killed were armed males firing at Coalition Forces."

Of course they include the statement that kids were killed without corroborating the story, but as we have learned over the years, this is how they do such a "wonderful" job of reporting.  Print unsubstantiated rumors and statements and see what sticks.

Think anyone was doused with kerosene and burned alive in this attack?



UPDATE 1850hrs PST

Thanks to Antimedia for doing a more indepth search of Lexis-Nexis in which we found the following about this Muhieddin Rashad:

  • He has written 32 stories for the AP
  • First story appeared in January 2002 from Baghdad.  He was a reporter in a Saddam ruled Iraq.
  • He contributed for 11 stories, ALL of them included Qais al-Bashir as a contributor also.
  • 6 of the stories he wrote had contributors attached to them.  Qais al-Bashir and Sameer N. Yacoub we’re on all six.  Both of those writers used "Jamil Hussein" as a source.

For the reports written by Rashad he used the following from the Centcom suspected fraud list:

  • He used Lt. Bilal Ali as a source for two stories
  • He used police Col. Khalaf Abdel-Karim as a source for one story
  • He used Lt. Maytham Abdul-Razzaq as a source for four stories
  • He used Lt. Muataz Salaheddin as a source for four stories
  • He used Police Brig. Sarhat Qader as a source for one story

Finally, for those articles that he did not write but did contribute to the AP writers were Steven R. Hurst, Kim Gamel, David Rising, Patrick Quinn and Sinan Salaheddin.

So far we have Qais al-Bashir, Sameer N. Yacoub, and Muhieddin Rashad as reporters who have used and are continuing to use suspect sources. 

Finally this article I will reprint in full because it may show a glimpse of how Mr. Rashad and his wife feel about the US.  It was written in April of 2003 for a Japanese paper:

Copyright 2003 Kyodo News Service 
Japan Economic Newswire

April 2, 2003 Wednesday

SECTION: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

LENGTH: 913 words

HEADLINE: FOCUS: Kyodo reporter offers a personal view of the war on Iraq

BYLINE: Muhieddin Rashad

DATELINE: BAGHDAD, April 2

BODY:

Kyodo News correspondent Muhieddin Rashad has remained in Baghdad with his family since the U.S. war on Iraq began March 20. He sends this personal report on his own Iraqi family’s everyday life.

Every morning since the war began two weeks ago, the first thing I do on waking is go and see if my children are still asleep and if they are well covered.

Then, the day really starts.

This is the third war I have covered. I reported during the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s and the 1991 Gulf War. But this time there is a big difference — a superpower has declared its intention to invade and then occupy a country.

The intention is being accompanied by intense and uninterrupted air raids on Iraqi towns and cities, where millions of women and children live, in what appears to be a war of the cities.

Relieved by coalition assurances it will not hurt civilians, the majority of Iraqis have stayed in their homes inside the cities.

But many, including my wife, are beginning to lose confidence in the coalition promises.

Weeks before the war, my wife and I began an intensive ‘drive’ to prepare our two small daughters for war conditions, including bombings.

The efforts seem to have paid off, but only slightly.

My 6-year-old daughter Sarah seems to be more conscious. Right from the time the first missile exploded in Baghdad, she has been curious as to why bombs are falling on our city.

We do not want to politicize our children, so my wife and I have been telling them that the war has nothing to do with children and ‘It is not your business.’

We have been telling them that daddy and mummy are with them and therefore they don’t have to be afraid.

‘I will beat whoever comes to hit my little babies,’ I tell my two children to build for them, and myself, a sense of comfort and security.

Since the start of the war, Sarah has been quiet, but we can see she is not convinced the war is only about adults.

She is becoming paler and paler, and I am afraid she may be hiding her real fears inside.

When the bombs fall, she and her 4-year-old sister Tara tremble and rush into the arms of their mother who, unlike me, is always at home.

When I return home from work late in the day, most days I find them asleep. Occasionally, they remain awake and they then both rush to me, telling me that they have missed me ‘too much.’

They seem, day by day, to be becoming more and more shaky and insecure.

I have to admit to myself that they are frightened. And no attempts to console them work when the horrible sounds of bomb explosions come day and night to tear into their ears and hearts.

Tara is the more openly scared.

Whenever a raid starts, she runs to her mother’s lap saying ‘Mama, here they come again.’

I can not speculate how much damage there will be to my children’s psychology in future, but I can say we most probably will need a psychiatrist to follow up on them.

The bomb blasts are horrible, and when they occur, the whole family takes refuge in a corridor separating a row of rooms from the bathroom and washing machine room.

There are no windows in the corridor, and two walls on each side separate us from the outside world.

It may not be the best shelter from bombs, but when we go there, we gain some sense of safety.

Because the bomb blasts shake the house often, we try to keep away from the windows and leave part of the windows and doors open to release the air pressure resulting from the impact of a bomb blast and preventing the window panes and doors from being smashed.

‘These people (the Americans and the British) are really shameless. The only reason for such intensive and continuous raids on cities is to terrify women and children. It seems to be sheer hypocrisy to hear American and British officials boringly reiterate that they would avoid hurting civilians. But they are,’ my wife Siham Abdul Karim says.

As a nonpolitical translator at a government publishing house, my wife is well aware she must do everything possible to care for and protect our children.

And she is lucky now because she is now on a one-year maternity leave.

‘Everything might not be well in this country, but is everything well in the U.S. and Britain?’ she asks, adding ‘If they have any quarrels with our government, their soldiers and planes should remain at the battlefronts fighting Iraqi soldiers, not women and children.’

In the days before the war, I managed to stockpile essential foods and medicine for my family — enough for us to consume throughout April and May.

Combined with the government’s food ration, I think we can manage even until June.

So, in this respect, I feel secure.

I have also drilled a well in my garden for fear of a lack of drinking water. And we still boil the water before drinking as an additional safety precaution.

I have also bought a small electric generator for my house so we can have power at home. We still have both drinking water and electricity, but we are not sure the situation will remain.

My own and my wife’s most serious concern is how things will turn out if there is street fighting in Baghdad.

There will be no precision-guided bombs and other technologically advanced weapons.

Instead, there will be blind artillery and mortar shells that may fall anywhere.

I have been discussing with my wife moving the children out of Baghdad, but she and the children strongly reject the idea, saying no other place is safe in Iraq.

Either we live together, or we die together.

Sure, bombs were raining down and I can understand them being scared but some of the statements in this article smell of a little bias.  Then add in the fact that this reporter has consistently used biased stringers as a source for anti-US stories and you can come to no other conclusion.

Way to go AP!  You’ve done it again.

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