British Troops Caught Planting Explosives in Basra?

The following news item carries a crucial piece of information missing from Western news agency reports. We’ve highlighted the passage in question which, if true, casts an entirely new light on the incident and may explain why the British military were so keen to free the two men. Had they been questioned for much longer they might have revealed who was really behind many of the bombings in Iraq which have hitherto been attributed to the likes of al-Qaeda and Al-Zaqarwi.

Iraqi police detain two British soldiers in Basra
China View – September 19, 2005

Iraqi police detained two British soldiers in civilian clothes in the southern city Basra for firing on a police station on Monday, police said.

“Two persons wearing Arab uniforms opened fire at a police station in Basra. A police patrol followed the attackers and captured them to discover they were two British soldiers,” an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.

The two soldiers were using a civilian car packed with explosives, the source said.

He added that the two were being interrogated in the police headquarters of Basra.

The British forces informed the Iraqi authorities that the two soldiers were performing an official duty, the source said. British military authorities said they could not confirm the incident but investigations were underway.

See: Carry on Killing

Two Britons Held for Firing at Iraqi Police

The correspondent who sent the following news item in, reports that although this was originally published, as is, in the Washington Post, later editions omitted a crucial line. We’ve emphasised the line in question to show how critical items are now being carefully and maybe deliberately ignored by the Western news media. The end result being “news” that does little more than misinform and deceive.

British Soldiers Clash With Iraqi Police in Basra
Jonathan Finer and Omar Fekeiki – Washington Post September 19, 2005

Heavy clashes erupted Monday between Iraqi police and British soldiers based in Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, witnesses said.

The clashes are the latest in surging tensions in Basra, a Shiite-dominated city that had long been one of Iraq’s calmest. Attacks have targeted Britons and Americans there.

Monday’s clashes stemmed from the arrest by Iraqi police on Sunday of two Britons, whom Iraqi police accused of planting bombs.

A Western military spokesman in Basra confirmed “an ongoing disturbance” in the city on Monday but said Iraqi and British forces were working together to quell it.

“There is public disorder going on,” the official said. “We are aware that Iraqi authorities are holding U.K. service personnel, and we are liasing with Iraqi authorities on the matter.”

Witnesses said the clashes developed amid British attempts to win the release of the two Britons. Fighting in the city continued into Monday evening, and witnesses saw a British armoured vehicle in flames after it was allegedly set on fire by Iraqi police. Earlier, gunmen loyal to a radical Shiite Muslim cleric attacked the house of Basra’s governor to press demands for the release of two prominent members of the cleric’s militia who were arrested Sunday by British forces.

British “Undercover Soldiers” Caught driving Booby Trapped Car
Extracted from Al-Jazeera – September 19, 2005

Before the two British Special Forces men were freed by force on Monday, an Al Jazeera report suggested that the men were driving a booby-trapped car around Basra which was loaded with ammunition and explosives. The Al Jazeera report (see below) also indicates that the unrest in Basra was motivated by the perception that the two British soldiers were planning to detonate the explosives-packed car in the centre of Basra:

[Anchorman Al-Habib al-Ghuraybi] We have with us on the telephone from Baghdad Fattah al-Shaykh, member of the Iraqi National Assembly. What are the details of and the facts surrounding this incident?

[Al-Shaykh] In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. There have been continuous provocative acts since the day before yesterday by the British forces against the peaceful sons of Basra. There have been indiscriminate arrests, the most recent of which was the arrest of Shaykh Ahmad al-Farqusi and two Basra citizens on the pretext that they had carried out terrorist operations to kill US soldiers. This is a baseless claim. This was confirmed to us by [name indistinct] the second secretary at the British Embassy in Baghdad, when we met with him a short while ago. He said that there is evidence on this. We say: You should come up with this evidence or forget about this issue. If you really want to look for truth, then we should resort to the Iraqi justice away from the British provocations against the sons of Basra, particularly what happened today when the sons of Basra caught two non-Iraqis, who seem to be Britons and were in a car of the Cressida type. It was a booby-trapped car laden with ammunition and was meant to explode in the centre of the city of Basra in the popular market.

However, the sons of the city of Basra arrested them. They [the two non-Iraqis] then fired at the people there and killed some of them. The two arrested persons are now at the Intelligence Department in Basra, and they were held by the National Guard force, but the British occupation forces are still surrounding this department in an attempt to absolve them of the crime.

[Al-Ghuraybi] Thank you Fattah al-Shaykh, member of the National Assembly and deputy for Basra.

Text of report by Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite TV on 19 September (emphasis added)