Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Baqouba: al Qaeda's capital, Islamic State of Iraq.

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    Saturday, July 07, 2007

    Baqouba: al Qaeda's capital, Islamic State of Iraq.

    BAQOUBA, Iraq — Sunni extremists are likely to try a series of high-profile attacks to grab the headlines ahead of a watershed report to Congress in September on political and military progress in Iraq, the top U.S. commander said Saturday.

    "We expect they will try this — pull off a variety of sensational attacks and grab the headlines to create a `mini-Tet,"' Gen. David Petraeus said in an interview with The Associated Press.

    He was referring to the 1968 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Tet offensive that undermined public support for the Vietnam War in the United States. The offensive failed to achieve most of its tactical goal but it shattered political support for the Vietnam War among the U.S. public.

    Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are to present a report to Congress by Sept. 15 on the situation in Iraq. Several Republicans say if progress is not made by then, they may call for a new strategy in Iraq.

    He would not elaborate, but other U.S. generals have warned in recent weeks against drawing down American troops too rapidly before Iraqi security forces can cope.

    Petraeus would not say what measures he would take to prevent a spate of spectacular attacks. He spoke at a U.S. base, Camp Warhorse, on the edge of Baqouba, which had been the self-declared capital of the Al Qaeda front group, the Islamic State of Iraq.

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