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Stephen Schwartz has two pieces in The Weekly Standard (link to other story is in this one) following up on the UN gunbattle in Kosovo. The UN information clampdown is certainly tighter than that exercised by the US at certain Baghdad prisons, but details eek out, including the sad note of the passing of Gary Weston, who was previously listed as wounded.
The male American, who died of his wounds, was Gary Weston, of Vienna, Illinois. The Palestinian, Sergeant Major Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim Ali, was killed when members of the contingent in which the Americans were traveling returned fire.
In the days since the first reports of the crime were received, more details have emerged, which make what was already a scandal for the United Nations in Kosovo even more alarming. First and most disturbing is that the dead assailant, Ali, is being investigated for connections with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. Second is that the same Ali had visited the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, home of the Wahhabi Islamic sect that produced al Qaeda, only a month before he was sent to Kosovo in March.
More thorough descriptions of the incident are horrendous. The group of Americans, along with some Turkish personnel, were leaving a prison in the northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica when the attack began. It was their first day on the job. According to the Associated Press, they were "trapped between a locked gate and Ali's assault rifle."
The Palestinian carried an M-16, from which he apparently discharged 400 rounds, leading NATO investigators to examine whether his four colleagues in a Jordanian detachment assigned to guard the prison had helped him by feeding his weapon as he fired. All four were detained after the bloody events, but three have now been released, while one of them, whose name has not been disclosed, remains under arrest as a possible accomplice, and his immunity from prosecution has been revoked.
The Americans shot back with pistols. An Austrian guard heard the noise and ran to the scene, but was wounded in the legs by the Palestinian.
The Associated Press account states chillingly, "When he had shot all those he could see, Ali paced around the vans [in which the Americans had been riding], searching for more victims."
The carnage continued until Ali's weapon jammed. The surviving Americans then stormed the Jordanians' guard shack, where they found his four comrades hiding. The Americans grabbed their weapons from them and killed the assailant, firing 16 bullets into his body.
Hmmm.. they shot a man whose weapon wasn't functioning? Barbaric! We must assume justice will be swift.
So 'one' (arab) man goes on a shooting rampage against westerners and four other (well armed) arabs 'hide' while this is going on. The westerners only resort is to find and disarm these 'cowards' then off the shooter? Hmm, methinks there was more shooting to be done.Posted by ThomasD at May 2, 2004 07:10 PM
400 rounds from a single weapon? Did he have 30 round magazines, the most commonly used size? If so, this represents 14 magazines of amunition? Assuming burst fire (90 rounds per minute), this also represents four and a half minutes of actual rock-and-roll time. The assertion that his "colleagues ... helped him by feeding his weapon as he fired" is absurd to anyone familiar with the weapon, unless they got it wrong and Ali was Rambo-ing an M-60.
In any event, this stinks and the cover-up stinks worse.Posted by submandave at May 2, 2004 07:38 PM
My friend's dad died in that shooting. Shut up your mouths with your my team vs. your team we are both uneducated shite. And get back to first working on some more experience in your lives than you've currently got. Get some real and unique raw perspective, then work on knowing yourself. What do you stand for? Ignorant television kids. Open your eyes and think alternatively and one day you'll look back and laugh.Posted by thad at May 11, 2004 08:49 AM
"My friend's dad died in that shooting. Shut up your mouths with your my team vs. your team we are both uneducated shite. And get back to first working on some more experience in your lives than you've currently got. Get some real and unique raw perspective, then work on knowing yourself. What do you stand for? Ignorant television kids. Open your eyes and think alternatively and one day you'll look back and laugh."
So, "thad", based upon the content, tone and structure of your missive, I can only conclude your friend's dad was named Ahmed.
Mr. Weston's family and friends have my sympathies.
If you are neither, ESFOAD.