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January 26, 2005
Islamist Terrorists Start Their Election Playbook

The Zarqawi-led terrorist insurgency started running its game plan today as outlined in a missive from an Arabic Internet forum, attacking polling stations in areas where they hope to suppress the Sunni vote especially and discredit the election results:

Insurgents staged attacks against U.S. forces, schools to be used as polling stations and political party offices on Wednesday, as they pressed a bloody campaign to undermine Iraq's weekend elections. A U.S. Marine transport helicopter crashed in western Iraq.

Three car bombs exploded Wednesday in Riyadh, a tense town north of Baghdad, killing at least five people, including three policemen. One of the car bombs targeted a U.S. convoy but there was no report of casualties, police said. ...

U.S. troops found at least six bombs at different locations around Baghdad, the military said. Iraqi police discovered two more bombs in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, where turnout in the Sunday national elections is expected to be high.

In a statement, the U.S. command said the six bombs were discovered early Wednesday in widely scattered areas of the Iraqi capital.

In the New Year's Day instructions from "Mudad Iluj", the mujahedin were urged to to the following:

2. It is known that election committee [lists] are published prior to voting – one, two or a few days before the date of the elections -- and you must attack these offices to seize all documents, voter lists, and the [voting] boxes. Destroy all election-related supplies a day or two before the voting because it will be difficult to replace these supplies just before the elections.

Terrorists also kidnapped three election workers from Mosul and had Al-Arabiya television broadcast them in captivity as a warning to others who assist in allowing Iraqis to determine their own government. That covers item 1 from the plan, as well as the overall strategy of co-opting the media for their platform of terror.

The terrorists promised us a war for January 30th, and it looks like they plan on delivering. The American and Iraqi forces also appear to be responding well, stopping six attacks and protecting the polls and the workers in those areas. It won't be perfect, and it will get bloody. However, as our own history tells us, freedom is worth the fight. The Iraqis believe it, even if some of us no longer do.

UPDATE: Matt Cardens noticed the same thing.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 26, 2005 6:14 AM

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