On January 20th, five GMC SUVs carrying English speaking gunman with American uniforms and weapons conducted “perhaps the boldest and most sophisticated attack in four years of warfare” (AP), abducting four US soldiers. Later the SUVs were found with the Americans executed inside.

Insurgencies certainly evolve, but this latest attack is light years beyond anything previously conducted. The operation required a nine to twelve English speaking fighters, five disposable SUVs (approx $200,000+), American uniforms, American firearms, and reliable intelligence on the exact location of the American targets. Furthermore, the logistics and planning the operation by any measure outweigh the strategic-value of abducting of 4 American, especially since the unknown gunman executed the US GIs only hours later. If the goal of attack was to kidnap the Americans, why did the attackers kill the US servicemen so soon? A logical answer is that kidnapping Americans was the not goal of the raid. So what was?

On January 27th, an Associated Press Report included a curious sentence in an overview of the attack:

"The attackers captured four soldiers and fled with them and the computer east toward Mahawil in Babil province, crossing the Euphrates River, the U.S. military officials said." (AP)

No mention of a computer appears anywhere else in the article, yet the article appears to have been written as if it was. While all the media outlets have been describing the attack as a kidnapping, the AP article hints at another possible reason for the raid, a military laptop. Elusive, well financed, supported, and trained attackers took four Americans and a laptop, within hours they killed the Americans. Was the computer the real target? Were the American soldiers kidnapped to provide the password and then killed?

The article does not mention if the computer was found in the car, but even if it was the data it contained could have been downloaded off the device. I do not presume to know what was on the computer but the fact that the attackers stole two things (GIs and a Computer) and killed the GIs lends to the possibility that the computer was the real reason for the attack.

AP Article: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...8MTJD980.shtml
My Original Posting: http://chrisalbon.com/was-the-karbal...ilitary-laptop