March 9, 2006

Brits Nab Terrorists in Basra

Hatched by Sachi

Good News Central, which collects good news from Iraq, posted this good news from Basra. (Did I forget to mention this was good news?) *

A team of Royal Air Force "Regiment gunners" from Scotland broke up a looming terrorist attack on a British base in the Basra airport. The eagle-eyed Sgt. Jonathon Tointon -- should we say "dragon-eyed," since he's Scottish? -- spotted a lone Iraqi canoeist plying the river. As the sergeant put it:

"It struck me as strange that the canoe was being paddled by only one man. Normally, Iraqi fishermen work in pairs as they have to haul in nets...."

That observation led to a stakeout. The result was busting up two terrorist not-so-safe houses, where raiders discovered over 100 pounds of explosives, three 122mm rockets and fuses, and many other pieces of evidence.

The most valuable asset of any fighting force is the ability of soldiers to spot the incongruity... an unusual event, something out of place. What is wrong with this picture?

I remember reading about warnings issued to troops on the ground, such as "watch out for trash, be careful of discarded bicycles, beware of an abandoned car," etc. But there are so many items to look out for that the warning becomes meaningless. The kind of ability Sgt. Tointon showed only comes through experience.

Read the entire account here.


* As promised in the previous post, you can learn much more war related information by reading the entire text of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, March 9, 2006, at the time of 7:37 PM

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