Attacks on Iraqi security volunteers, who are given much of the credit for reducing violence in their country, have doubled since October, the U.S. military said Thursday.
The statement came after six volunteers were killed in two incidents. In one attack, suspected al-Qaida in Iraq members killed three brothers a year after their father, who also had allied himself with U.S. forces, was murdered.
The U.S. military says the rising attacks are a sign that Sunni Muslim militants feel squeezed by the grass-roots security effort, which has grown to include at least 70,000 Iraqis who stand guard at checkpoints as members of concerned local citizens, or CLCs. In return, they receive $10 a day from U.S. military funds.
Terrorism suspect’s extradition OK’d
Britain’s Home Office on Thursday approved the extradition of an Islamic preacher who is accused of trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon, a spokesman said.
Abu Hamza al-Masri once led London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, which was attended by both Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and “shoe bomber” Richard Reid. One top British counterterrorism official described the mosque as a “honeypot for extremists.”
The Egyptian-born al-Masri was arrested on a U.S. extradition warrant in 2004, but the process was put on hold while he stood trial.
Al-Masri has 14 days to appeal his extradition. If he does not, he will be sent to the U.S. within 28 days, the spokesman said.