Al Qaeda Facilitator Likely Dead in Coalition Air Strike
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2005 A coalition air strike that hit a terrorist safe house today in Ushsh, Iraq, likely killed a senior al Qaeda member who assisted foreign fighters in Iraq, U.S. officials in Baghdad announced.
Intelligence sources indicate that Abu Dua, who helped Syrians and Saudis enter Iraq to intimidate and kill Iraqi citizens, was in the house at the time of the strike. Dua was linked to other al Qaeda terrorists and facilitators in the Qaim, Karabilah and Husaybah areas. He also was a known close associate of Ghassan Amin, an al Qaeda member known as the "emir of Rawah." Amin was captured in May.
According to intelligence sources, Dua was connected to the intimidation, torture and murder of local civilians in the Qaim area. Dua held religious courts to try local citizens charged with supporting the Iraqi government and coalition forces. He would kidnap individuals or entire families, accuse them, pronounce sentence and then publicly execute them, U.S. officials said.
Dua's al Qaeda connections extended to Syria and Saudi Arabia, from where most of his foreign fighters were recruited. He set up and ran a system that funneled foreign fighters from Syria into the Qaim area. These fighters were then sent to local terrorist cells, where they attacked innocent Iraqi citizens and Iraqi security and coalition forces.
While Dua's body has not yet been recovered, the air strike effectively destroyed the building he was believed to be in, officials said. The type of munitions used and the timing of the air strike mitigated the risk to civilians in the local area, they added.
In other news from Iraq, two terrorists are dead and one is in Iraqi police custody following what appeared to be a failed suicide car-bomb attack on coalition forces Oct. 25.
Three people were seen in the vehicle before it exploded, officials said. One bomber was wearing a suicide vest, which apparently detonated early, killing the bomber and another occupant, while a third terrorist jumped from the moving vehicle in time to avoid being killed. Iraqi Police arrested the surviving insurgent. Iraqi explosive ordnance experts later cleared the scene.
An unreported number of wounded were evacuated for medical treatment, but no one besides the two terrorists was killed.
In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 42 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 25 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. Coalition aircraft also supported Iraqi and coalition ground forces operations to create a secure environment for ongoing Transitional National Assembly meetings.
A U.S. Air Force F-16 performed an air strike against anti-Iraqi forces near Karabilah, expending precision-guided bombs.
Other U.S. Air Force F-16s and F-15s and British Royal Air Force GR-4s provided close-air support to coalition troops near Mahmudiyah, Basrah, and Sulaymaniyah.
In addition, 10 U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and Royal Australian Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, U.S. Air Force and British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)