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The Guerrillas Killing U.S. Troops

Iraqi American Soldier Killers, Dan Rather, Evening News
Dan Rather takes a look at some men who say they are responsible for attacks against Americans in Iraq. In the interests of fairness and accuracy there is no way to confirm their claims. But at the very least, it is a glimpse into the minds of those who hate the American presence here so much they are willing to kill and die for their cause.

They are the eyes of hatred -- of men who say they will do anything it takes to kill Americans and drive them out of Iraq.

"We must launch a jihad against the Americans. We have to drive them out," said one man.

They call themselves "Islamic Free Iraq" and brandish their weapons to show their determination. But the men say they are neither Islamic fundamentalists nor Saddam loyalists -- in fact they say they hated Saddam -- as they now hate the U.S.

"America is doing exactly what Saddam did to this country. Saddam and his family looted and destroyed. Americans are doing the same thing. Saddam took the oil for himself. Now the oil is for the Americans," said another.

The say they are simply ordinary Iraqis, men with wives and children, determined to fight the American occupation.

They took responsibility for attacks against Americans but won't say which ones or how many.

"We hit their vehicle and set it on fire and injured two of them and I think one of them was killed. We will continue to kill them until they are out of Iraq."

It is impossible to say exactly who these men were, but they were clearly not dirt-poor zealots. Pictures shot with a hidden camera showed a street in a middle class neighborhood, a comfortable home with traces of gentility, a glimpse of what appeared to be wives and children -- some of whom seemed ready to follow in their fathers' footsteps playing and posing with guns and ammunition.

"When the Americans came we thought we would be happier, more comfortable, but we found nothing of the kind so we live under the same conditions as we did under Saddam. There is looting, no security, and we are hungry," one man told Rather.

Theirs is a familiar refrain on the streets of Baghdad -- the difference is that these men say they are willing to back up their complaints with violence.

"We choose the place and whenever we see them we attack them," said another. "Each time we have a chance we hit them."

The group Rather met with on two occasions was small, although they claim to be part of a web of loosely affiliated groups totaling hundreds of members -- all with the same common enemy.

The pictures for this report were shot by French photo-journalist Laura Heim. As a measure of how ruthless these people are -- she was threatened at gunpoint that if they found out she was an American, they would find her -- and kill her.