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March 24, 2006

The Freed Hostages.

Some more info from a mailing list I'm on:

This is a clip from a much longer report that can be accessed only as a premium subscriber at stratfor; however, I thought this merited bringing to your attention:

Hostage Rescue in Iraq: A Western Intelligence Network in Action The March 23 rescue of three Western peace activists held hostage in Iraq for four months was the work of an elite multinational unit known as Task Force Black. The rescue operation -- which involved undercover work, informant payoffs, surveillance and the arrest and interrogation of suspects -- suggests that efforts to establish an intelligence-gathering network in Iraq are beginning to pay off.

Task Force Black rescued Canadians Harmeet Singh Sooden and James Loney, along with Briton Norman Kember, all members of the group Christian Peacemaker Teams who were kidnapped while on their way to a meeting with the Association of Muslim Scholars in Baghdad in November 2005. The fourth hostage, American Tom Fox, had been shot dead, and his body dumped March 9 on a Baghdad street.

Led by British Special Air Service (SAS) members, Task Force Black is a team of some 250 personnel, including U.S., Australian and British special forces as well as intelligence personnel from various agencies. Following the November kidnappings, FBI agents, MI6 officers, Canadian kidnap experts and hostage negotiators from Scotland Yard also were brought in to work on the case.

Of course, the list has it's Contrarian Corps as well...

STRATFOR's conclusions are premature. The success of a single operation, however impressive, does not justify the drawing of general conclusions about the success OR failure of intelligence gathering efforts in Iraq.

To which the original poster replied:

So, is this just market driven analysis (be first) or is it somehow propaganda?

Followed up by:

Well, we're given one data point (& how reliable is the source?). As I remember from my math classes in the last century, one can draw an infinite number of lines through one point.

Re. propaganda, usually the best stuff is just a wee bit off the truth...

I have insufficient data for a meaningful answer.