He says that Zarqawi appears to be exploiting the fact that women are not usually body-searched at many outdoor security checkpoints. Muslim traditions dictate that women be searched only by other women, away from public view.
"We have recognized the threat," said Mr. Snow. "The threat is real. In this case, there is a plan in place. We're looking to make sure that there's some type of facility, either indoors or some type of tents set up so women can search women. Now, the challenge is to get the adequate number of women to do searches."
The Pentagon has announced that about 1,000 additional U.S. troops would be deployed and nearly 10,000 others kept in Iraq for an extra seven to 10 days to ensure that next month's vote, and national elections scheduled for December 15, proceed smoothly.
Top U.S. military leaders in Iraq say 190,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained, but only a small fraction can fight effectively without U.S. support.