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Sunday, May 09, 2004

al Sadr: Anyone who captures a female British soldier can keep her as a slave

May 8, 2004 -- WASHINGTON - A senior aide to renegade Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr offered Iraqis a chilling new incentive to wage war yesterday: anyone who captures a female British soldier can keep her as a slave.

The shocking offer was made by Sheik Abdul-Sattar al-Bahadi, Sadr's chief representative in southern Iraq, at a fiery sermon at the al-Hawi mosque in relatively tranquil Basra.

Al-Bahadi, holding an assault rifle and what he claimed were pictures of three Iraqi women being raped in British-controlled jails, also offered a $350 reward to anyone who captures a male British soldier and a $150 reward to anyone who kills a British soldier.

The sick bounties were offered as U.S. forces continued to engage in fierce fighting with Sadr's al-Mahdi militia in the flashpoint cities of Najaf and Karbala yesterday.

Loud explosions and heavy gunfire were heard near a mosque serving as Sadr's headquarters in Karbala yesterday.

Osama offers gold for murders: Bremer, Kofi Annan, Brahimi

Washington Post: On the tape, the voice notes the United States has "offered great prizes for whoever would kill those engaged in jihad" before saying that al Qaeda would give a prize of 10,000 grams in gold -- equivalent to about $125,000 -- for killing Bremer, his deputy or the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq. . . .

The voice also describes the struggle in Iraq as "ideological and religious," and adopts a slogan popularized in U.S. academic circles, that it is also "a clash of civilizations."

The al Qaeda reward of 10,000 grams of gold covers not only Annan, but also the U.N. special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi. On the tape, the United Nations is described as "merely a Crusader-Zionist tool even though it might seek cover by offering some relief work."

Lesser rewards are also offered: 1,000 grams of gold, or about $12,500, for killing U.S. or British soldiers; and 500 grams, or about $6,250, for killing other coalition military or civilian personnel in Iraq, specifically from Japan and Italy. The tape notes that al Qaeda may have trouble delivering the rewards "in view of the security circumstances," but adds that if the killer dies in the effort, he will receive martyrdom, "the biggest prize," and the gold "will be for his heirs."

And Americans are angry with Rumsfeld? Go figure.

NewsMap represents in graphic format the content of the Google News aggregator. At present it shows 2,547 articles about Rumsfeld hanging onto his job, as opposed to 1,030 about the American Connection to the 3/11 bombings in Madrid.

Put NewsMap on your favorites list; it's fascinating:
Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe. . . . [Its] objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news, on the contrary it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it.