Ministry of Interior Weekly Press Conference
Thursday, November 30, 2006
By Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf Al-Kenani
Ministry of Interior spokesman
Press conference synopsis:
1. Media, especially satellite news channels, must adhere to
a. MOI is monitoring coverage, and will insist on corrections to
b. Unnamed sources should not be used. Two recently named sources
do not work for MOI. Contact MOI PAO for official information.
c. Rumors are rampant, and media should be careful to check with
official sources about information to avoid spreading false rumors.
2. MOI succeeded in a number of operations against terrorists in
a. The Baghdad Sniper was apprehended, and information gained from
him led to the arrest of 30 others in his organization.
b. Two unauthorized “courts” that had issued death fatwas were
c. A kidnapping cell, including one that raped a young girl, was
This press conference will cover MOI operations from Nov. 23 to 29, 2006.
Before we start the weekly briefing, I have some points to highlight and to remind the brothers that work in the media, especially the Satellite television Channels. We meant by this note to stress the ministry of interior’s intention that we believe in free press and truthful press, in order not to confuse what the free press presents and the misleading media show, where the latter’s intention is to make the situation in Iraq worse than what it is.
The press release issued by the ministry of interior has three main points: First, a warning to the satellite TV. Channels continue broadcasting false news, and based on that we have formed a special observation room to monitor these TV stations; the purpose of this unit is to determine the fabricated and false news that hurts and gives the Iraqis a wrong picture that the security situation is very bad, when the facts are totally different.
After the monitoring process, we will contact those TV stations by presenting them with the mistakes and errors they committed by broadcasting such false news, hoping they will correct these false reports on their main news programs. But if they do not change those lying, false stories, then we will seek legal action against them.
For example, we have some of the respected news outlets that deal with news fast and have a relation with many TV channels and the media in general, who distributed a story quoting a person called Jamil Hussein. Afterward, we searched our sources in our staff for anyone by this name– maybe he wore an MOI uniform and gave a different name to the reporter for money. And the second name used is Lt. Maythem.
However, all of you know that the ministry of interior has a large public affairs office and its official spokesman, and we are ready to answer any questions you may have. Therefore, you should contact MOI PAO for all your needs to get real, true news. Based on that, we strongly deny any relation with those two names. In order to serve you better and strengthen the relationship with MOI, do not take statements that have no meaning and do not represent any official. We would like this note to be helpful to you and any statement made by those persons to be ignored.
The second subject is rumors. The ministry received in a week more than 12 cases of claims, one stating 50 killed were there, 200 kidnapped here, 30 corpses found there etc. And when we dispatched our forces and investigators to the locations, we found nothing.
On this note, I would like to thank some of the brothers in the media who are cautious and take the extra step to make sure the news he gets is correct or not, by contacting the ministry to verify any news through us that they hear or receive. Not only (do we reply), but we also give them more detail than they expected, and we hope others will follow suit. Also, we ask our people, please do not take any news or give it credibility, except from a well-known source with a name and an address that is part of the security ministries, etc., such as a minister or police station commander. Or if it is from the MOD or MOI, the name of the officer, his rank, his unit, etc. It is not enough to say “a source from the ministry of interior.”
Doing otherwise, you will end up helping the spread of the rumors and make them reality, even thought it was a false rumor. This rumor business — if a large issue, it will take a long time to cover it, but the purpose of the rumors is to disrupt life and make the security apparatus busy with other things than its main tasks. We will end up following rumors instead of hunting terrorists and criminals.
The third subject is, this week the strikes we made against the al-Qaeda terrorist organization in Baghdad were many and very strong in Baghdad. Before my arrival to this press conference, I was informed that one of the three who were just captured or detained is Mazer Al-Jubouri, aka the Baghdad Sniper, and his group. He admitted many things that are very important and very dangerous and our forces used this information about his network and conducted raids in the past 24 hours and detained 30 terrorists.
Those terrorists executed several explosions in Palestine and Beirut streets, and the New Baghdad area. He also admitted that their base is in Diyala province, which supplied them with money, weapons and explosives. They are now under investigation and we think this cell or network has been dismantled.
This week also, we dismantled what are called “courts” in northern and southern Baghdad, and detained the two persons who issued fatwas to kill the people. Our force dismantled what is called the Omar network, this criminal network that used to exercise its criminal activities in southern Baghdad. And they admitted many things about other terrorist networks and our forces are pursuing them now, as well as other networks for kidnapping.
One of them, we regret, kidnapped a girl and used narcotics on her and raped this little innocent young girl. We captured those criminals and the little girl is receiving medical attention. This is not Iraqis’ culture. Just look how far down in debasement they have traveled. With regret, I told you that, because MOI activity does not hold in the media the position it deserves, and also to show the great sacrifice by MOI this week.