Ghraib Attacks Show Terrorists
Still Deadly, Bush Says
Kathleen T. Rhem
attacks on Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison complex in recent days
are a sign that the al Qaeda terrorist group still is deadly, President Bush
said at the White House.
which press reports indicate al Qaeda has claimed credit for
mounting, are a sign that “that these people will kill.
They kill innocent life. Their strategy hasn’t really changed,” Bush
said in remarks following the second Cabinet meeting of his second
term. “Their strategy has been one to kill as many innocent
people as they possibly can, in the hopes that it shakes our
confidence and shakes our will.”
raid by 40 to 50 armed assailants April 2 wounded up to 44 American
soldiers and 13 detainees. A second attack by a suicide bomber
driving a tractor April 4 reportedly killed five civilians.
after them,” Bush said of terrorists in Iraq. “And
equally importantly,” he added, “the Iraqi citizens
are after them now.
and more citizens understand that these terrorists, like al Qaeda
and (Jordanian terrorist network leader Abu Musab al-) Zarqawi,
don’t have their interests at heart,” the president
said. “They don’t believe in democracy, these killers.
They believe in a society in which people aren’t going
to be free to practice their religion or free to speak in the
He said the
American people should “take heart” to know that
Iraqis are now allies in defeating the terrorists in their country.
Bush said Iraqis
taking to the polls in Jan. 30 national elections is proof that “the
Iraqi citizens took toward complete defiance of the point of
view of Zarqawi, who is an al Qaeda type.”
Forces Repel Terrorist Attack on Camp Abu Ghraib
Iraq – Soldiers
and Marines successfully repelled a well-coordinated attack
by 40-60 terrorists on Forward Operating Base Abu Ghraib April
at about 7 p.m. Abu Ghraib is a detention facility for 3,400
detainees as well as an Iraqi-run prison.
In an attempt
to gain access to the prison, terrorists launched a simultaneous
attack in multiple locations using indirect fires, rocket-propelled
grenade fire, small arms fire and a vehicle-borne improvised
explosive device. Just as the sun was setting, indirect fire
from 81 mm and 120 mm mortars began impacting the operating base.
This was followed by multiple RPG attacks and a large volume
of small arms fire focused on two guard towers, one on the northwestern
and the other on the southeastern corner on the operating base.
Using the cover of the mortar fire and the intense fire on the
guard towers, the terrorists launched a VBIED to penetrate the
perimeter wall near the southeastern guard tower. Marines defending
the base returned fire and the VBIED exploded before it reached
the perimeter. Marines in the tower were forced to evacuate but
were quickly reinforced by a quick reaction force.
using residential areas for cover and concealment, then conducted
a ground assault towards the southeastern tower. With reinforcements
from the quick reaction force, Marines and Soldiers halted the
advance of the terrorists. Additionally, Apache helicopters and
artillery fire began to engage the remnants of the attackers.
The terrorists were forced to withdraw after suffering an estimated
50 casualties. The attack was over by 9 p.m.
US forces sustained
seven wounded who were evacuated to a combat support hospital
and sixteen minor injuries from shrapnel who have been returned
thirteen detainees were also wounded from indirect fire, and
all detainees remained accounted for.