Video aired on Arab TV shows Baghdad sniper targeting U.S. troops

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Media: The Associated Press
Date: 22 October 2006

CAIRO, Egypt_Footage aired Saturday by an Arab satellite television station
showed American soldiers being shot by Iraqi snipers, whose commander said
they trained using techniques from a book written by a retired U.S. Army

The video shows at least three U.S. soldiers falling to the ground after
apparently being shot by snipers in separate attacks. It was unclear when or
where the attacks took place.

The footage was stamped with the emblem of the Islamic Army in Iraq, a major
Sunni Arab insurgent group. The authenticity of the video could not be
verified, and Al-Jazeera employees at the station's headquarters in Qatar
said they were not authorized to comment.

During several minute presentation, a man identified by a subtitle as the
snipers' commander said he used a book "The Ultimate Sniper" by retired U.S.
Army Maj. John Plaster as a training guide.

"It's one of the sniper books that we rely on in our training," said the
man, whose face was digitally obscured.

He added that snipers must "have steady nerves, focus and good eyesight."

The video's release appeared part of a new media strategy by the Islamic
Army in Iraq to raise its profile among Iraqi and Arab audiences.

In one segment, a gunman in a black ski mask enters a sparsely decorated
room, lays down his rifle and walks over to a white board hanging on the
wall, where he keeps a tally _ by fives_ of how many Americans he has shot.

The Al-Jazeera anchor identified the man as the "Baghdad sniper," a shadowy
figure whose identity and even existence were unknown. The anchor quoted the
insurgent group as saying the man had killed 600 U.S. soldiers.

According to military figures, about 30 of the 78 Americans killed in Iraq
this month died from snipers or small arms fire.

In another segment, six men in black ski masks were shown shooting targets
in formation, in what appeared to be a sniper training exercise in a grassy
area surrounded by trees.

Saturday's video was dubbed, "An Eid gift from the army of monotheism,"
referring to the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of
Ramadan. The video aired two days before the holiday's start.

U.S. officials have frequently criticized the pan-Arab satellite channel,
accusing it of fueling anti-American sentiment across the Middle East and
giving terrorists a podium.

The Islamic Army in Iraq is believed to include former members of Saddam
Hussein's Baath Party, his intelligence service and former army officers.

It rejected a call from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to join the
political process, saying it would not participate until there was a
timetable for withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.

At first, the group allied itself with al-Qaida, but it is believed to have
distanced itself from Osama bin Laden's terror network.

The group is believed to have killed a number of foreigners in Iraq,
including American contractor Ronald Schulz and Italian journalist Enzo
Baldoni, who was researching a book on militants.