2005 Amman bombings
The 2005 Amman bombings were a series of coordinated bomb attacks on three hotel lobbies in Amman, Jordan, on 9 November 2005. The explosions at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Radisson SAS Hotel, the Days Inn started at around 20:50 local time at the Grand Hyatt; the three hotels are frequented by foreign diplomats. The bomb at the Radisson SAS exploded in the Philadelphia Ballroom, where a Jordanian wedding hosting hundreds of guests was taking place; the attacks injured 115 others. Al-Qaeda in Iraq was quick to claim the attack; the bombings, a rare terror attack in Jordan spurred a wave of new anti-terror measures by the Jordanian government. At the Radisson SAS Hotel, two suicide bombers —entered the Philadelphia Ballroom, where Ashraf Akhras and his bride, Nadia Al-Alami, were celebrating their wedding with around 900 Jordanian and Palestinian guests. Sajida al-Rishawi was unable to detonate her belt, her husband Ali al-Shamari admonished her and told her to get out of the room. As she was leaving, the lights went out in the ballroom, Ali jumped onto a dining-room table and detonated himself.
Among the 38 people killed in the explosion were the fathers of the bride and groom. In addition, the explosion destroyed the ballroom, blew out the large windows bordering the street, knocked down ceiling panels; the hotel lobby was affected: ceiling panels and light fixtures collapsed, furniture was destroyed, the hotel's glass doors were shattered. Cleanup and rebuilding commenced shortly afterwards; the hotel was targeted in the 2000 millennium attack plots nearly 6 years prior, but the plan was foiled. The second blast happened about 500 yards from the Radisson SAS, it destroyed the hotel's entrance and brought down pillars and ceiling tiles, along with badly damaging the reception and bar areas. After the bomber ordered orange juice in the hotel's coffee shop, he went to another room and came back and detonated his bomb. Seven hotel employees were killed in this blast, as were Syrian-American movie producer Moustapha Akkad and his daughter, Rima. Akkad, best known for producing the Halloween series of slasher films, was the producer of Mohammad, Messenger of God.
At the time of his death, he was in the early stages of producing a film about Saladin, the Kurdish Muslim leader who expelled the Crusaders from the Levant. Hyatt began cleanup shortly after the attacks and reopened their hotel on November 19. At the Days Inn, the bomber entered the restaurant on the hotel's ground floor, he had trouble. The bomber ran outside the hotel and detonated himself, killing three members of a Chinese military delegation. Property damage at the Days Inn was expected to amount to around $200,000. According to one Jordanian official, Maj. Bashir al-Da'aja, early in the investigation, local authorities confirmed a series of coordinated suicide attacks as the cause of the blasts. Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan al-Muasher announced that at least 67 people had died and 300 people had been injured. However, the Jordanian government subsequently revised the number of casualties down to at least 59 dead and 115 injured; the adjustment in figures was not explained. Among the dead were thirty-six Jordanians from a Muslim wedding, including the fathers of both the bride and groom.
The rest were six Iraqis, five Palestinians, four Americans, two Arab-Israelis, two Bahrainis, three Chinese delegates of the People's Liberation Army, one Saudi, one Indonesian citizen. Famous filmmaker Moustapha Akkad died with his daughter; the Palestinian fatalities included Major-General Bashir Nafeh, the head of military intelligence in the West Bank, Colonel Abed Allun, a high-ranking Preventive Security forces official, Jihad Fatouh, the commercial attache at the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo, Mosab Khorma, a senior Palestinian-American banker and former Paltel CEO. Both of the Israeli fatalities were Arabs. One was Husam Fathi Mahajna, a businessman from Umm al-Fahm, the other was an unidentified resident of East Jerusalem. Jordanian police stated that there were at least four attackers, including a couple, who spoke Iraqi-accented Arabic. A number of Iraqis were among the more than 100 suspects. Police claimed to have found maps. On November 12, Jordan's Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher confirmed that the attackers were Iraqi and that there were only three suicide bombers.
On November 13, King Abdullah announced the arrest of a woman believed to be a fourth would-be suicide bomber, whose explosive belt failed to detonate. The three dead suicide bombers were identified, their names were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Muasher, they were Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, Rawad Jassem Mohammed Abed, Safaa Mohammed Ali. The woman in custody was identified as Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, she was intended to blow herself up at the Radisson. Muasher said that she was the sister of a close aide of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Rishawi was executed in February 2015 in response to the murder of Jordanian air force pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh by ISIL. An internet statement released the day after claimed that the bombers were: Abu Khabib, Abu Muaz, Abu Omaira and Om Omaira, all Iraqis. Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed the attack on a website, saying they were trying to hit "American and Israeli intelligence and other Western European government
Amman is the capital and most populous city of Jordan, the country's economic and cultural centre. Situated in north-central Jordan, Amman is the administrative centre of the Amman Governorate; the city has a land area of 1,680 square kilometres. Today, Amman is considered to be among the most modernized Arab cities, it is a major tourist destination in the region among Arab and European tourists. The earliest evidence of settlement in Amman is in a Neolithic site known as'Ain Ghazal, where some of the oldest human statues found dating to 7250 BC were uncovered. During the Iron Age, the city was known as Ammon, home to the Kingdom of the Ammonites, it was named Philadelphia during its Greek and Roman periods, was called Amman during the Islamic period. Abandoned for much of the medieval and post-medieval period, modern Amman dates to the late 19th century when Circassian immigrants were settled there by the Ottoman Empire in 1867; the first municipal council was established in 1909. Amman witnessed rapid growth after its designation as Jordan's capital in 1921, after several successive waves of refugees: Palestinians in 1948 and 1967.
It was built on seven hills but now spans over 19 hills combining 27 districts, which are administered by the Greater Amman Municipality headed by its mayor Yousef Shawarbeh. Areas of Amman have gained their names from either the hills or the valleys they occupy, such as Jabal Lweibdeh and Wadi Abdoun. East Amman is predominantly filled with historic sites that host cultural activities, while West Amman is more modern and serves as the economic center of the city. Two million visitors arrived in Amman in 2014, which made it the 93rd most visited city in the world and the 5th most visited Arab city. Amman has a fast growing economy, it is ranked Beta− on the global city index. Moreover, it was named one of the Middle East and North Africa's best cities according to economic, labor and socio-cultural factors; the city is among the most popular locations in the Arab world for multinational corporations to set up their regional offices, alongside Doha and only behind Dubai. It is expected that in the next 10 years these three cities will capture the largest share of multinational corporation activity in the region.
Amman derives its name from the 13th century BC when the Ammonites named it "Rabbath Ammon", with the term Rabbath meaning the "Capital" or the "King's Quarters". Over time, the term "Rabbath" was no longer used and the city became known as "Ammon"; the influence of new civilizations that conquered the city changed its name to "Amman". In the Hebrew Bible, it is referred to as "Rabbat ʿAmmon". However, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom who reigned from 283 to 246 BC, renamed the city to "Philadelphia" after occupying it; the name was given as an adulation to Philadelphus. The neolithic site of'Ain Ghazal was found in the outskirts of Amman. At its height, around 7000 BC, it was inhabited by ca. 3000 people. At that time the site was a typical aceramic Neolithic village, its houses were rectangular mud-bricked buildings that included a main square living room, whose walls were made up of lime plaster. The site was discovered in 1974. By 1982, when the excavations started, around 600 meters of road ran through the site.
Despite the damage brought by urban expansion, the remains of'Ain Ghazal provided a wealth of information.'Ain Ghazal is well known for a set of small human statues found in 1983, when local archaeologists stumbled upon the edge of a large pit 2.5 meters containing them. These statues are human figures made with white plaster, with painted clothes, in some cases ornamental tattoos. Thirty-two figures were found in two caches, fifteen of them full figures, fifteen busts, two fragmentary heads. Three of the busts were two-headed, the significance of, not clear. In the 13th century BC Amman was the capital of the Ammonites, became known as "Rabbath Ammon". Ammon provided several natural resources to the region, including sandstone and limestone, along with a productive agricultural sector that made Ammon a vital location along the King's Highway, the ancient trade route connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia and Anatolia; as with the Edomites and Moabites, trade along this route gave the Ammonites considerable revenue.
Ammonites worshiped. Excavations by archaeologists near Amman Civil Airport uncovered a temple, which included an altar containing many human bone fragments; the bones showed evidence of burning, which led to the assumption that the altar functioned as a pyre. Today, several Ammonite ruins across Amman exist, such as Qasr Al-Abd, Rujm Al-Malfouf and some parts of the Amman Citadel; the ruins of Rujm Al-Malfouf consist of a stone watchtower used to ensure protection of their capital and several store rooms to the east. The city was conquered by the Assyrian Empire, followed by the Persian Empire. Conquest of the Middle East and Central Asia by Alexander the Great consolidated the influence of Hellenistic culture; the Greeks founded new cities in the area of modern-day Jordan, including Umm Qays and Amman. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, who occupied and rebuilt the city, na
The Pentagon, in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, D. C. is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. As a symbol of the U. S. military, the phrase The Pentagon is used as a metonym for the Department of Defense and its leadership. The building was designed by American architect George Bergstrom and built by contractor John McShain. Ground was broken on September 11, 1941, the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943. General Brehon Somervell provided the major motivating power behind the project. S. Army; the Pentagon is the world's largest office building, with about 6,500,000 sq ft of space, of which 3,700,000 sq ft are used as offices. Some 23,000 military and civilian employees, another 3,000 non-defense support personnel, work in the Pentagon, it has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 mi of corridors. The central five-acre pentagonal plaza is nicknamed "ground zero" on the presumption that it would be a prime target in a nuclear war.
On September 11, 2001 60 years after the building's construction began, American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and flown into the western side of the building, killing 189 people, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. It was the first significant foreign attack on Washington's governmental facilities since the city was burned by the British during the War of 1812; the Pentagon is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. The Pentagon building spans 28.7 acres, includes an additional 5.1 acres as a central courtyard. Starting with the north side and moving clockwise, its five façades are the Mall Terrace Entrance façade, the River Terrace Entrance façade, the Concourse Entrance façade, the South Parking Entrance façade, the Heliport façade. On the north side of the building, the Mall Entrance, which features a portico, leads out to a 600 ft long terrace, used for ceremonies; the River Entrance, which features a portico projecting out 20 ft, is on the northeast side, overlooking the lagoon and facing Washington.
A stepped terrace on the River Entrance leads down to the lagoon. The main entrance for visitors is on the southeast side, as are the Pentagon Metro station and the bus station. There is a concourse on the southeast side of the second floor of the building, which contains a mini-shopping mall; the south parking lot adjoins the southwest facade, the west side of the Pentagon faces Washington Boulevard. The concentric rings are designated from the center out as "A" through "E". "E" Ring offices are the only ones with outside views and are occupied by senior officials. Office numbers go clockwise around each of the rings, have two parts: a nearest-corridor number followed by a bay number, so office numbers range from 100 to 1099; these corridors radiate out from the central courtyard, with corridor 1 beginning with the Concourse's south end. Each numbered radial corridor intersects with the corresponding numbered group of offices. There are a number of historical displays in the building in the "A" and "E" rings.
Floors in the Pentagon are lettered "B" for Basement and "M" for Mezzanine, both of which are below ground level. The concourse is on the second floor at the Metro entrance. Above ground floors are numbered 1 to 5. Room numbers are given as the floor, concentric ring, office number. Thus, office 2B315 is on the second floor, B ring, nearest to corridor 3. One way to get to this office would be to go to the second floor, get to the A ring, go to and take corridor 3, turn left on ring B to get to bay 15, it is possible for a person to walk between any two points in the Pentagon in less than seven minutes. The complex includes eating and exercise facilities, meditation and prayer rooms. Tours for the public were suspended after the 2001 attack. Just south of the Pentagon are Pentagon City and Crystal City, extensive shopping and high-density residential districts in Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery is to the north; the Pentagon is surrounded by the complex Pentagon road network. The Pentagon has six Washington, DC ZIP Codes.
The Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the four service branches each have their own ZIP Code. Before the Pentagon was built, the United States Department of War was headquartered in the Munitions Building, a temporary structure erected during World War I along Constitution Avenue on the National Mall; the War Department, a civilian agency created to administer the U. S. Army, was spread out in additional temporary buildings on the National Mall, as well as dozens of other buildings in Washington, D. C. Maryland and Virginia. In the late 1930s, a new War Department Building was constructed at 21st and C Streets in Foggy Bottom but, upon completion, the new building did not solve the department's space problem and ended up being used by the Department of State; when World War II broke out in Europe, the War Department expanded in anticipation that the United States would be drawn into the conflict. Secretary of War H
A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, training and function are similar to those of a professional military, but, formally not part of a government's armed forces. Under the law of war, a state may incorporate a paramilitary organization or armed agency into its combatant armed forces; the other parties to a conflict have to be notified thereof. Though a paramilitary is not a military force, it is equivalent to a military's light infantry force in terms of intensity and organizational structure. A paramilitary may commonly fall under the command of a military despite not being part of the military or play an assisting role for the military in times of war. Depending on the definition adopted, "paramilitaries" may include: Irregular military forces: militias, insurgents, etc; the auxiliary forces of a state's military: national guard, presidential guard, republican guard, state defense force, home guard, royal guard, imperial guard Some police forces or auxiliary police: Indonesia's Mobile Brigade Corps, Detachment 88, India's Assam Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, etc.
Semi-militarized law enforcement personnel within normal police forces, such as SWAT teams in the United States and a number of other countries Gendarmeries, such as Egyptian Central Security Forces and Russia's National Guard Border guards, such as Russia's Border Guard Service, Australian Border Force, India's Border Security Force The United States' Federal Protective Forces Security forces of ambiguous military status: internal troops, railroad guards, or railway troops Volunteer Defence Corps, such as Volunteer Defence Corps in Thailand, Volunteer Defence Corps in Australia, Shanghai Volunteer Corps, Royal Hong Kong Regiment The fire departments of many countries and locales, although unarmed, are organized in a manner similar to military or police forces. List of paramilitary organizations List of defunct paramilitary organizations Category:Rebel militia groups Weimar paramilitary groups List of Serbian paramilitary formations Militarization of police Panamanian Public Forces Fourth-generation warfare Private army Private Military Companies Death squad Violent non-state actor List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel Golkar, Saeid.
Paramilitarization of the Economy: the Case of Iran's Basij Militia, Armed Forces & Society, Vol. 38, No. 4 Golkar, Saeid.. Organization of the Oppressed or Organization for Oppressing: Analysing the Role of the Basij Militia of Iran. Politics, Religion & Ideology, Dec. 37–41. Doi:10.1080/21567689.2012.725661 Mexico's Plan to Create a Paramilitary Force Global Security
Al-Qaeda is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda operates as a network of Salafist jihadists; the organization has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and various other countries. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on non-military and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, the 2002 Bali bombings; the United States government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the "War on Terror", which sought to undermine al-Qaeda and its allies. The deaths of key leaders, including that of Osama bin Laden, have led al-Qaeda's operations to shift from the top down organization and planning of attacks, to the planning of attacks which are carried out by associated groups and lone-wolf operators.
Al-Qaeda characteristically employs attacks which include suicide attacks and the simultaneous bombing of several targets. Activities which are ascribed to al-Qaeda involve the actions of those who have made a pledge of loyalty to bin Laden, or to the actions of "al-Qaeda-linked" individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Iraq or Sudan. Al-Qaeda ideologues envision the removal of all foreign influences in Muslim countries, the creation of a new caliphate ruling over the entire Muslim world. Among the beliefs ascribed to al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam; as Salafist jihadists, members of al-Qaeda believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned. This belief ignores the aspects of religious scripture which forbid the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting. Al-Qaeda opposes what it regards as man-made laws, wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law. Al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks on targets.
Al-Qaeda is responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims. Al-Qaeda's leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias and other sects as heretical and its members and sympathizers have attacked their mosques and gatherings. Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings. Following the death of bin Laden in 2011, the group has been led by Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Qaeda's philosophy calls for the centralization of decision making, while allowing for the decentralization of execution. However, after the War on Terror, al-Qaeda's leadership has become isolated; as a result, the leadership has become decentralized, the organization has become regionalized into several al-Qaeda groups. Many terrorism experts do not believe that the global jihadist movement is driven at every level by al-Qaeda's leadership. However, bin Laden held considerable ideological sway over some Muslim extremists before his death.
Experts argue that al-Qaeda has fragmented into a number of disparate regional movements, that these groups bear little connection with one another. This view mirrors the account given by Osama bin Laden in his October 2001 interview with Tayseer Allouni: this matter isn't about any specific person and... is not about the al-Qa'idah Organization. We are the children of an Islamic Nation, with Prophet Muhammad as its leader, our Lord is one... and all the true believers are brothers. So the situation isn't like the West portrays it, that there is an'organization' with a specific name and so on; that particular name is old. It was born without any intention from us. Brother Abu Ubaida... created a military base to train the young men to fight against the vicious, brutal, terrorizing Soviet empire... So this place was called ` The Base', as in a training base, so this name became. We aren't separated from this nation. We are the children of a nation, we are an inseparable part of it, from those public *** which spread from the far east, from the Philippines, to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to India, to Pakistan, reaching Mauritania... and so we discuss the conscience of this nation.
Bruce Hoffman, sees al-Qaeda as a cohesive network, led from the Pakistani tribal areas. Al-Qaeda has the following direct affiliates: Al-Qaeda's indirect affiliates includes the following, some of which have left the organization and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: Osama bin Laden was the Senior Operations Chief of al-Qaeda prior to his assassination by US forces on May 1, 2011. Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was alleged to be second in command prior to his death on August 22, 2011. Bin Laden was advised by a Shura Council; the group was estimated to consist of 20–30 people. One such member is thought to have been Sayed Tayib al-Madani. Ayman al-Zawahiri had been al-Qaeda's Deputy Operations Chief and assumed the role of commander after bin Laden's death. Al-Zawahiri replaced Saif al-Adel. On June 5, 2012, Pakistani intelligence officials announced that al-Rahman's alleged successor Abu Yahya al-Libi had been killed in Pakistan. Nasir al-Wuhayshi was said to have become second in command in 2013.
He was the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, until he was killed in a US airstrike in June 2015. Al-Qaeda's network was built from scratch as a conspiratoria
Anthony H. Cordesman holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a national security analyst on a number of global conflicts. At CSIS, he has been the director of the Gulf Net Assessment Project and the Gulf in Transition study, Principal Investigator of the CSIS Homeland Defense Project, he directed the Middle East Net Assessment Program, acted as Co-Director of the Strategic Energy Initiative, directed the project on Saudi Arabia Enters the 21st Century. He is the author of a wide range of studies of energy policy, has written extensively on oil and energy risks and issues, is the co-author of The Global Oil Market: Risks and Uncertainties, CSIS, 2006, he has written extensively on oil and energy risks and issues, is the co-author of The Global Oil Market: Risks and Uncertainties, CSIS, 2006. He is a former Professor of National Security Studies at Georgetown University and fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution.
Cordesman served as national security assistant to Senator John McCain of the Senate Armed Services Committee and as civilian assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. He is a former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he directed the analysis of the lessons of the Yom Kippur War for the Secretary of Defense in 1974, coordinating the U. S. military and civilian analysis of the conflict. He was awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, he has been visiting and lecturing in Asia since the 1960s, is a Senior Advisor to the U. S.-Asia Institute. He was a guest lecturer in China on energy and Middle East security for the State Department in 2007, he is the co-author of Chinese Military Modernization: Force Development and Strategic Capabilities, CSIS, Washington, 2007. Cordesman served in other government positions, including at the United States Department of State, Department of Energy, director of International Staff at NATO.
He carried assignments posts in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Iran and West Germany, worked in Saudi Arabia. Cordesman has authored over 50 books on U. S. security policy, military strategy, energy policy, the Middle East. He is a long-term contributor to the American hi-fi magazine, The Absolute Sound. On February 2, 2009, Cordesman published an analysis of the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict; the report relied on Israeli briefings before and after the conflict, including visits to the Israeli Defense Spokesman, interviews with Arab officials, experts. The report analyzes the views and reactions of Arabs, but emphasized that Hamas has not provided more than "minimal details on the fighting, other than ideological and propaganda statements". Cordesman points out improvements in the capability of the Israeli Defense Forces since the fighting against Hezbollah in 2006, he believes the military used "decisive force" against legitimate military objectives, in spite of their humanitarian cost. Cordesman's analysis claimed that Israel did not violate the laws of war.
Norman Finkelstein, a noted critic of Israel, claimed in an article on CounterPunch that this assumption lacks credibility because it relies on information from the Israeli Ministry of Defense whilst ignoring reports from the United Nations, NGOs and other News media reports. He has criticized the Bush Administration's efforts in both the Afghanistan wars. According to an article in National Business Review, Cordesman was said to have been only "48 per cent" convinced on the need to invade Iraq in 2003, but contends that "concerns over Saddam's weapons of mass destruction were valid", he considers the current "chaos" in Iraq as the result of "pre-existing fractures in the country's social makeup", a "tribal, clan-based society". In 2006, Cordesman published Iraqi Security Forces: A Strategy for Success, documenting "both the initial mistakes and the recent changes in U. S. policy that now offer real hope of success in Iraq". Michael Rubin of the Middle East Quarterly has accused the book of being a "typical work for with much information but little analysis".
In March 2009, Cordesman issued a detailed assessment entitled "Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran's Nuclear Development Facilities". He concludes with the opinion that "Any realistic resolution to the Iranian nuclear program will require an approach that encompasses Military, Political interests and differences of the West vs Iran. There will be no lasting resolution to the Iranian nuclear program until the broader interests of Iran, the US, the region and the world are addressed. Iran should be engaged directly by the U. S. with an agenda open to all areas of military and non-military issues that both are in agreement or disagreement." Cordesman answers readers' questions regarding the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict Appearances on C-SPAN
Second Battle of Fallujah
The Second Battle of Fallujah—code-named Operation Al-Fajr and Operation Phantom Fury—was a joint American and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War. It was led by the U. S. Marines and U. S Army against the Iraqi insurgency stronghold in the city of Fallujah and was authorized by the U. S.-appointed Iraqi Interim Government. The U. S. military called it "some of the heaviest urban combat U. S. Marines and Soldiers have been involved in since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968."This operation was the second major operation in Fallujah. Earlier, in April 2004, coalition forces fought the First Battle of Fallujah in order to capture or kill insurgent elements considered responsible for the deaths of a Blackwater Security team; when coalition forces fought into the center of the city, the Iraqi government requested that the city's control be transferred to an Iraqi-run local security force, which began stockpiling weapons and building complex defenses across the city through mid-2004.
The second battle was the bloodiest battle of the entire Iraq War, is notable for being the first major engagement of the Iraq War fought against insurgents rather than the forces of the former Ba'athist Iraqi government, deposed in 2003. In February 2004, control of Fallujah and the surrounding area in the Al-Anbar province was transferred from the U. S. 82nd Airborne Division to the 1st Marine Division. Shortly afterward, on 31 March 2004, four American private military contractors from Blackwater—Wesley Batalona, Scott Helvenston, Jerry Zovko and Michael Teague—were ambushed and killed in the city. Images of their mutilated bodies were broadcast around the world. Within days, U. S. Marine Corps forces launched Operation Vigilant Resolve to take back control of the city from insurgent forces. On 28 April 2004, Operation Vigilant Resolve ended with an agreement where the local population was ordered to keep the insurgents out of the city; the Fallujah Brigade, composed of local Iraqis under the command of a former Ba'athist officer named Muhammed Latif, took control of the city.
Insurgent strength and control began to grow to such an extent that by 24 September 2004, a senior U. S. official told ABC News that catching Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said to be in Fallujah, was now "the highest priority," and estimated his troops at 5,000 men non-Iraqis. Before beginning their attack, U. S. and Iraqi forces had established checkpoints around the city to prevent anyone from entering, to intercept insurgents attempting to flee. In addition, overhead imagery was used to prepare maps of the city for use by the attackers. American units were augmented by Iraqi interpreters to assist them in the planned fight. After weeks of withstanding air strikes and artillery bombardment, the militants in the city appeared to be vulnerable to direct attack. U. S. Iraqi and British forces totaled about 13,500; the U. S. had gathered some 6,500 Marines and 1,500 Army soldiers that would take part in the assault with about 2,500 Navy personnel in operational and support roles. U. S. troops were grouped in two Regimental Combat Teams: Regimental Combat Team 1 comprised Mike Battery 4/14 Palehorse, 3rd Battalion/1st Marines, 3rd Battalion/5th Marines, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 and 23 as well as the U.
S. Army's 2nd Battalion/7th Cavalry. Regimental Combat Team 7 comprised the 1st Battalion/8th Marines, 1st Battalion/3rd Marines, 1st Batalion 12th Marines Charlie Battery’s artillery, the U. S. Army's 2nd Battalion/2nd Infantry,2nd Battalion/12th Cavalry and 1st battalion 6th field artillery. About 2,000 Iraqi troops assisted with the assault. All were supported by aircraft U. S. Marine and U. S. Army artillery battalions and USSOCOM Sniper Elements; the 850-strong 1st Battalion of the Black Watch was ordered to help U. S. and Iraqi forces with the encirclement of Fallujah. As part of Task Force Black, D Squadron of the British SAS prepared to take part in the operation, but British political nervousness about the possible scale of casualties stopped any direct UK involvement in the ground battle. In April, Fallujah was defended by 1,000 + "part time" insurgents. By November, it was estimated. Another estimate put the number of insurgents at 3,000. Fallujah was occupied by every insurgent group in Iraq: al-Qaeda in Iraq, Islamic Army of Iraq, Ansar al-Sunna, Army of Mohammed, the Army of the Mujahedeen and the Secret Islamic Army of Iraq.
Three groups, had their nationwide headquarters in Fallujah. An estimated 2,000 insurgents were from the Army of Mohammed, Ansar al-Sunna and various smaller Iraqi groups; the Iraqi insurgents and foreign mujahadeen present in the city prepared fortified defenses in advance of the anticipated attack. They dug tunnels, prepared spider holes, built and hid a wide variety of IEDs. In some locations they filled the interiors of darkened homes with large numbers of propane bottles, large drums of gasoline, ordnance, all wired to a remote trigger that could be set off by an insurgent when troops entered the building, they blocked streets with Jersey barriers and emplaced them within homes to create strong points behind which they could attack unsuspecting troops entering the building. Insurgents were equipped with a variety of advanced small arms, had captured a variety of U. S. armament, including M14s, M16s, body armor and helmets. They booby-trapped buildings and vehicles, including wiring doors and windows to grenades and other ordnance.