They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

SAS kit in Basra - 'Video shows bomb-making equipment'

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
UK's Basra raid provokes backlash

Reporter: Norman Hermant

TONY JONES: Iraq's Prime Minister is in London tonight for a hastily-called meeting with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. The focus for Ibrahim Jaafari will be on the fallout from this week's clash between British forces and Iraqi police in Basra. More details have emerged about the British raid to free two of their soldiers from police custody, as the Iraqi Government itself admitted some of its police and security forces have been infiltrated by insurgents. Norman Hermant reports.

NORMAN HERMANT: Judging by this protest, there is still plenty of anger in Basra. Most of these demonstrators are policemen, still enraged after British troops stormed a police station in the city to free two British soldiers. Some banners called them British terrorists and demanded their return to Iraqi courts. The government in Baghdad is backing away from language, calling this a crisis, but it's not hiding its dissatisfaction.

HAIDER AL-EBADI, ADVISOR TO IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: It is a very unfortunate development that the British forces should try to release their soldiers the way it happened. It's very unfortunate.

NORMAN HERMANT: Today there were more images of the two British soldiers, believed to be members of the SAS, in Iraqi police custody. This videotape shows weapons they were alleged to be carrying, including rockets launchers and bomb-making equipment. [db emphasis] The two are shown in Arab headdress, the disguise they were allegedly wearing when they were stopped by Iraqi police. With a tank on fire outside the police station and negotiations stalled to free the soldiers from Iraqi custody, the British decided to act. Read more

db: The charge that the British were carrying bomb-making equipment in their car has not yet been successfully airbrushed out of the story - at least in Australia.