Iraq Premier Forms Security Service to 'Annihilate'
By SOMINI SENGUPTA
Published: July 16, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 15 -Prime Minister Iyad Allawi of Iraq on Thursday
announced the establishment of an Iraqi security service to "annihilate"
terrorist groups in his country, appealed to countries with large Muslim
populations to send troops to Iraq and sought to dissuade any countries
from negotiating with hostage-takers.
He spoke as a Filipino hostage, in a videotaped message broadcast on the
Arab television news channel Al Jazeera, thanked his country for
removing its troops from Iraq.
In a message translated and read by Al Jazeera's staff, the hostage, a
Filipino contract worker, said his captors were prepared to release him.
The group holding him said that it would free him once the last of the
51 Filipino troops in the United States-led force had left Iraq.
Also on Thursday, 10 Iraqis were killed in Haditha, west of Baghdad,
when a car bomb exploded near a government complex that houses police,
civil defense and other officials.
In a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Dr. Allawi said he had
spoken to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines and had
urged her to reconsider the withdrawal of her forces. "We don't
negotiate with terrorists," he said. "The international community needs
to close ranks against the terrorists."
The White House rebuked the Philippines for sending what it called the
"wrong signal" by yielding to the terrorists' demands.
The fate of two Bulgarians taken hostage remained a mystery. Iraqi
police officers found a headless body in an orange jumpsuit in the
Tigris River, near Bayji, a town 170 miles north of Baghdad and turned
it over to United States forces. A military spokeswoman said Thursday
evening that it was not clear whether the body was that of a Bulgarian
hostage who was reported to have been killed by his captors early this
The body was found Wednesday night less than 10 miles from where the
governor of Nineveh Province in the north was assassinated, also on
Wednesday. A senior American military officer in Mosul said that a
terrorist cell was operating in that area.
Government officials and police officers have been favorite targets of
the insurgency, and the carnage of the last two days showed that the
insurgents remained determined to disrupt Iraq.
Just before sundown, gunmen fired on an Iraqi Foreign Ministry car,
killing one official and wounding two others, The Associated Press
reported, quoting an Iraqi national guard source. The foreign minister,
Hoshyar Zebari, was not in the car.
On Wednesday, a car bombing killed 10 people at the gates of the
American-occupied Green Zone.
In Kirkuk, a woman and her three children were killed late Wednesday
when a rocket hit their house, Reuters reported.
At his news conference, Dr. Allawi offered few details about the new
security division, called the General Security Directorate, except to
say that it was intended to combat the insurgency. In an apparent effort
to allay fears that the agency would be a reincarnation of Saddam
Hussein's feared secret police, the interior minister, Falah al-Naqib,
told reporters that the agency would be staffed by professionals with
Dr. Allawi has made security his chief focus. Last week, he announced
emergency measures that, if invoked, would allow him to impose curfews,
ban groups he considered seditious and order the detention of people
suspected of threatening security. The reorganized Iraqi security forces
have conducted several high-profile raids, including one this week that
netted 15 people suspected of being members of Al Qaeda and its allies,
government officials said.
Dr. Allawi has also suggested that the death penalty could be restored.
"We are determined to bring down all the hurdles that stand in the way
of our democracy," he said. "We would not spare any effort to defeat our
enemies, the forces of evil."
He has also suggested that the crackdown would be paired with an offer
of amnesty for some insurgents who agree to lay down their arms. Earlier
this week, the Iraqi president, Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar, said in a published
interview that an amnesty proposal would be announced this week. But Dr.
Allawi said it would have to wait until next week. "It's still being
discussed," he said. Dr. Allawi also said that he had asked several
other countries to contribute to the multinational force fighting in
Iraq, including Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Morocco and Pakistan.
He said he planned to visit several neighboring countries, including
Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to request help.