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Fascinating find in Samarra
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, July 14, 2007

From a briefing with Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, spokesman and Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Effects, MNF-I, word of overrunning an al Qaeda media center located in Samarra, Iraq:
Last month, we uncovered an al Qaeda media center near Samarra. The facility, which was not much to look at on the outside, was in fact a major media production center and distribution center for al Qaeda in Iraq. It was called the Al-Furqan Media Productions by AQI. It produced CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products and contained documents clearly identifying al Qaeda in Iraq's intent to use media as a weapon. The building contained 65 hard drives, 18 thumb drives, over 500 CDs and 12 stand-alone computers.

Pictured behind me is one of the graphics we found on a hard drive.

It represents AQI's view of the areas it claimed to control in Iraq in early March. It also asserts AQI dominated much of Anbar and northern Iraq, which by any measure was clearly not the truth. We also found a sampling of other propaganda documents: a letter that gives instructions on how to use the media to get out the al Qaeda message most effectively; an al Qaeda activity report highlighting car bomb, suicide, missile, mortar, sniping and IED attacks; a propaganda poster that encourages filming and distributing videos, showing al Qaeda attacks on coalition forces; and a pamphlet and a CD cover of their sniper school.

In all, this media center had the capacity of reproducing 156 CDs in an eight-hour period and had a fully functioning film studio. This media center and others like it play an important role in al Qaeda's recruitment efforts in Iraq and around the world.
That gives you an idea of the value AQ places on the propaganda war.

As for the mentioned "graphic" it is a map of Iraq which is much like one you'd find in any military headquarters updating the situation across the country as they know it.

The most interesting thing to note about this map is that al Qaeda in Iraq itself considers the areas handed over to Iraqi control as areas not under their control as well (see map from MNF-I I posted here yesterday). A pretty valid indicator that they share the MNF-I assessment that the ISF "controls" those areas and that some progress is indeed being made.

If you'd like to see a larger and clearer pic of the AQ map, click on the link to the briefing and there are some other links which will take you to the briefing slides and a much larger version of the map.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
The obvious is fascinating? Control is given to the Iraqi forces when the area is relatively safe, or if it’s part of the country that’s been outside the violence. Thus of course the areas where Iraqis are in control would be places where al qaeda is weak. What else would you expect?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Control is given to the Iraqi forces when the area is relatively safe...Thus of course the areas where Iraqis are in control would be places where al qaeda is weak
But you don’t want US troops to make areas safe by making AQ weak. According to you, we should hand over control to Iraqis where you now claim it is obvious that AQ is strong.

Once again you provide us with that magical Erb Logic.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Effects, MNF-I,"

Fascinating title. What does it mean? Do they have a DCS for Special Effects?

I wonder if the US has a similar media center devoted to spreading our message in Iraq.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I wonder if the US has a similar media center devoted to spreading our message in Iraq.
Of course they do ... I just wonder if it as sophisticated as the one they captured.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"I just wonder if it as sophisticated as the one they captured."

One of the things I have looked for from the start in video coverage of Iraq is posters, billboards, etc. I have yet to see one.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

The most interesting thing to note about this map is that al Qaeda in Iraq itself considers the areas handed over to Iraqi control as areas not under their control as well (see map from MNF-I I posted here yesterday). A pretty valid indicator that they share the MNF-I assessment that the ISF "controls" those areas and that some progress is indeed being made.

The sections listed as not under full ISI control are the provinces overwhelmingly Shiite in demographics. They’re the ones we’ve been handing over because there was never consistently been war in them to begin with. They don’t represent progress and they are totally unrelated to the surge. The ISI didn’t control these areas in 2003, 4, 5, or 6. They can, and do, make terrorist attacks inside them, however.

I can’t believe I’m seeing you make arguments like this, Q. It’s insulting. I wouldn’t make that argument to high school kids. You should know better than to try and use this map to reinforce claims that we’re winning. You’d have been better off to stick with "This map demonstrates that ISI is full of sh*t". Get your act together. If the fact that Al-Quieda doesn’t control Basra constitutes "progress", then perhaps the fact that it hasn’t established air superiority should also be seen as "progress".
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
The areas they don’t hold are those controlled by "Turks & Rejectionists" I bet the Kurds love being told they are Turks.

They also mention "Crusaders killed." Funny, you’d think the media would have educated them to call us "combatants" by now. (Occupiers is too pejorative.)
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://

 
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