"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Friday, August 05, 2005
In a war marked by sectarian bombings and civilian casualties, Juba is unusual in targeting only coalition troops, a difficult quarry protected by armoured vehicles, body armour and helmets.
He waits for soldiers to dismount, or stand up in a Humvee turret, and aims for gaps in their body armour, the lower spine, ribs or above the chest. He has killed from 200 metres away.
"It was the perfect shot," the battalion commander, Lt Col Kevin Farrell, said of one incident. "Blew out the spine.
"We have different techniques to try to lure him out, but he is very well trained and very patient. He doesn't fire a second shot."
Some in the battalion want marksmen to occupy rooftops overlooking supply routes, Juba's hunting ground, to try to put him in the cross-hairs.
"It would be a pretty shitty assignment because he's good," said Spc Burress. "I think it's a sniper's job to get a sniper, and it'd probably take all of us to get him...."
Some worry that Juba is on his way to becoming a resistance hero, acclaimed by those Iraqis who distinguish between "good" insurgents, who target only Americans, and "bad" insurgents who harm civilians.
The insurgent grapevine celebrates an incident last June when a four-strong marine scout sniper team was killed in Ramadi, all with shots to the head.