US embassy cable - 06MOSUL17

NINEWA POLICE CHIEF CLAIMS REPORTS OF A RISE IN KIDNAPPINGS AND EXTORTIONS EXAGGERATED

Identifier: 06MOSUL17
Wikileaks: View 06MOSUL17 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: REO Mosul
Created: 2006-02-18 12:46:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ MARR PINT Kidnapping
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSUL 000017 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  2/18/2016 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, IZ, MARR, PINT, Kidnapping 
SUBJECT: NINEWA POLICE CHIEF CLAIMS REPORTS OF A RISE IN KIDNAPPINGS 
AND EXTORTIONS EXAGGERATED 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Cameron  Munter, PRT Leader, Provincial 
Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State. 
REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d) 
 
 
 
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SUMMARY 
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1.  (C) Provincial Chief of Police Wathiq Al Qudir told PRT 
Poloff that reports of an increase in the number of kidnappings 
and extortions in Mosul are exaggerated.  He said rumors that 
the crimes are targeted specifically against Kurds and 
Chaldo/Assyrians are false, and denied that incidents are as 
frequent as many suggest.  In actual cases, he claimed there is 
a direct link between terrorists and the kidnappers and 
extortionists.  Al Qudir said he realizes that many victims have 
not reported the crimes to the police, and asked for PRT 
assistance to help urge the public in Ninewa to do so.  End 
Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU) PRT Poloff met with Provincial Chief of Police (PCOP) 
General Wathiq Al Qudir at One West Iraqi Police (IP) 
Headquarters in Mosul on February 14. 
 
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RISE IN EXTORTIONS AND KIDNAPPINGS EXAGGERATED 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
3.  (C) Ninewa PCOP Al Qudir said that reports of a rise in the 
number of kidnappings and extortions in Mosul are exaggerated. 
He said that in Mosul, news of one or two events travels fast 
and results in fear, confusion, and hype.  Al Qudir said 
allegations that extortions and kidnappings are predominantly 
targeting Kurds and minorities, such as Chaldo/Assyrians, are 
false.  He called the criminals "equal opportunity terrorists," 
and was quick to point out that Sunni Arabs have been targeted 
more than any other ethnic group.  Al Qudir said he estimates 
the number of both extortions and kidnappings reported to the IP 
at around 20 so far this year.  He said, however, that he did 
not have accurate data to verify this. 
 
4.  (C) Poloff said many persons who have notified the PRT about 
the issue said they did not report the crimes to the IP out of 
fear from reprisal.  Al Qudir said he is aware of this problem 
and is looking into ways to build more trust between the IP and 
the community.  In the meantime, Al Qudir said he would be happy 
to receive reports for these crimes "directly," rather that 
through the IP chain of command.  He said another problem his 
force is facing is that the few victims who have come to the IP 
have done so after having already paid the extortionists.  Al 
Qudir said he believes the IP is very effective in combating 
these crimes, but are unable to do so if they are not informed 
about them.  He asked for PRT assistance to pass this message 
along to anyone reporting similar problems in the future. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
TERRORISTS AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITY LINKED 
--------------------------------------- 
 
5.  (C) Poloff asked if there was a connection between the 
terrorists and those committing the extortions and kidnappings, 
or if criminals were taking advantage of the security situation 
to commit more violent crime.  Al Qudir said he sees a direct 
link between terrorist activities and the crimes.  He claimed 
persons who have been arrested recently for extortions and 
kidnappings were the "same people" who were arrested before for 
terrorist activities.  Another complication, according to Al 
Qudir, is how quickly the terrorists adjust to new IP techniques 
to battle terrorism.  Al Qudir said once the IP figure out a new 
way to combat improvised explosive devices (IEDs), for example, 
the terrorists figure out new ways to plant them, undetected. 
He said he is frustrated but anticipates a "never-ending battle" 
of this sort to continue for the foreseeable future.  Al Qudir 
remains confident that his forces can battle against terrorists 
and win. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
COMMENT -- POLICE CHIEF'S CREDIBILITY GAP 
----------------------------------------- 
 
6.  (C) In office for almost four months now, Al Qudir still 
enjoys the support and admiration of most Moslawis as a person, 
including Kurds, Sunni Arabs, Shias, and minorities.  What Al 
Qudir is lacking, however, is the public's "trust" in the IP as 
an institution.  In conversations with politicians, government 
officials, and NGOs, many have told the PRT that they still have 
more faith in the ability of the Iraqi Army (IA) to solve 
problems and protect the public than the IP.  Al Qudir has made 
clear to us that he is aware of this problem and is working on 
strengthening the IP's rapport with the community.  He said he 
understands that to bridge this credibility gap he will need to 
make the IP more responsive and reliable than it has been in the 
past.  Although Al Qudir's intentions are good, convincing a 
skeptical public otherwise will take time to develop.  So far, 
we believe he appears to be up to the challenge. 
MUNTER 

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