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Rodgers: Surge of attacks ahead of 9/11 anniversary

CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers
CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An American soldier was killed and several were wounded Tuesday in a series of attacks on U.S. and coalition targets across Iraq.

Correspondent Walter Rodgers is in Baghdad and spoke with CNN's Carol Costello about the latest violence.

RODGERS: There has been a surge in attacks on coalition forces in the last 24 hours, and we should ask people to look at the calendar. Tomorrow is September 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the states.

The U.S. soldier who was killed was killed north of Baghdad. What the Army says occurred was a patrol -- and another soldier incidentally was wounded. These soldiers go out on patrols. They do wear their body armor. That is semi-bullet-proof vests. But they also are traveling in soft-skinned vehicles, not tanks, not Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

What the Iraqis do is they set off these roadside bombs, homemade explosive devices, remotely detonated beside the road. They know the routes that the U.S. patrols are going to take, and when the U.S. patrols go by, they detonate it. And they've been doing a fair amount of these attacks, at least a dozen a day, so many sometimes that they don't even get reported.

But a U.S. soldier was killed last night in Iraq, which is becoming the land of remotely-controlled, remotely-detonated bombs.

In Erbil last night, at a U.S. building -- a U.S. house up there, an Iraqi was killed by another remotely-detonated bomb.

The strategy of the insurgents here, the Iraqi resistance, seems to be what would be called the body bag syndrome. That is to say, kill enough Americans that the American public will lose its will and demand an end to the occupation of Iraq.

So far, there are no signs that that's going to happen, but that does appear to be the strategy of the insurgents, whoever they are, whether they're al Qaeda-type Islamists or spin-offs of al Qaeda, or whether they're Iraqi resistance loyalists to Saddam Hussein.

CNN: You mentioned September 11. What kind of security measures are going to be put into place tomorrow?

RODGERS: Tighter, you can well imagine that. Throughout the world, not just here in Baghdad, but throughout the world people are bracing.

Whether or not someone, whether or not the radical Islamists will use that anniversary to strike at U.S. targets, soft targets either here or in the United States or Western European capitals, we can't predict. But, of course, it is a logical time for attacks, so we are seeing greater and tighter security in that timeframe.

But, of course, even after September 11, this security is going to have to continue, because as many think tanks point out, the United States and its allies are facing a worldwide Islamist jihad, a holy war, against the U.S. principally.


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