Did Iran Train And Support Attackers?

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The New York Times is reporting that US and Iraqi government sources strongly suspect Iran was involved in the attack in Karbala that killed five American soldiers. While there is no formal evidence being released as of yet, the very nature of the attack and the extremely sophisticated way in which it was conducted argues against it being a homegrown Iraqi effort.

BAGHDAD, Jan. 30 — Investigators say they believe that attackers who used American-style uniforms and weapons to infiltrate a secure compound and kill five American soldiers in Karbala on Jan. 20 may have been trained and financed by Iranian agents, according to American and Iraqi officials knowledgeable about the inquiry.

The officials said the sophistication of the attack astonished investigators, who doubt that Iraqis could have carried it out on their own — one reason a connection to Iran is being closely examined. Officials cautioned that no firm conclusions had been drawn and did not reveal any direct evidence of a connection.

A senior Iraqi official said the attackers had carried forged American identity cards and American-style M-4 rifles and had thrown stun grenades of a kind used only by American forces here.

Tying Iran to the deadly attack could be helpful to the Bush administration, which has been engaged in an escalating war of words with Iran.

One American soldier was killed during the initial attack and four more were abducted and killed shortly afterward as the police pursued the sport utility vehicles used in the attack.

The attack was focused on a meeting at a joint security station, where American and Iraqi forces mesh their efforts in the new security plan.

My son told me that the troops have already been briefed about this situation and that they were told, as media reports have mentioned, that one of the attackers reportedly had blond hair. There have been four suspects arrested in the case and they are apparently indicating that the Mahdi Army may have been involved – trained and armed by Iran. If the evidence is conclusive enough, it needs to be made public.

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