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Coalition, Iraqi Forces Net Numerous Suspects, Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2005 – A physics professor, allegedly working as a terror cell leader in west Baghdad, was one of seven suspected terrorists detained during an early-morning raid Oct. 2, military officials in Iraq reported.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, found bomb-making materials and various chemicals and detained seven men in two separate locations in Saydiyah. The men were suspected of using the materials and chemicals to make lethal roadside bombs to target coalition Iraqi security forces.

Other items found during the raid included electronic circuit boards, circuit testers, wireless car alarms, spools of wire, a computer central processing unit, a loaded AK-47 assault rifle and a pistol.

In separate action, Iraqi army and Task Force Baghdad Soldiers, working together and independently, seized six suspected roadside-bomb emplacers, detained two car bombing suspects, and unearthed three weapons caches during combat operations Oct. 2.

Five terror suspects were captured in two early-morning raids conducted by Iraqi and U.S. forces in west Baghdad.

At 2:30 a.m., soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Iraqi Army Brigade, teamed up with 1st Battalion, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, to search an apartment complex. In less than 90 minutes, the soldiers captured three suspected terrorists believed to be responsible for placing roadside bombs in the area.

The second Iraqi-U.S. operation netted two more terror suspects in west Baghdad just before 4 a.m. The suspects are thought to be involved in a car-bombing cell.

At 8:10 a.m., Task Force Baghdad soldiers patrolling in southwest Baghdad struck a roadside bomb. No one was injured, and the patrol caught two suspicious-acting men. The patrol then searched two houses 100 yards from the scene of the attack and found bomb-making materials, including batteries, wires, timers and radio detonation devices. The soldiers also found two AK-47 assault rifles and two sniper rifles in the houses.

Task Force Baghdad soldiers, acting on an Iraqi citizen's tip, nabbed the sixth suspected roadside bomber just before 3 p.m. in north Baghdad.

All eight terror suspects were taken into custody for questioning.

In other Oct. 2 combat operations, Iraqi and coalition forces found three weapons caches in west Baghdad.

One cache was discovered lying out in the open in burlap bags, indicating the weapons were either about to buried or were being recovered for a possible terrorist attack.

The cache contained two machine guns with 150 links of ammunition, six AK-47s with 16 full magazines, and eight hand grenades.

The second cache consisted of 76 artillery rounds; one missile; one rocket; 10 mortar rounds; and a mortar tube, base plate and bipod for firing the munitions.

Task Force Baghdad soldiers also found 10 mortar rounds, four rockets, five grenades, five AK-47s and ammunition and three bullet-proof vests in a third weapons cache. The third cache also contained fake license plates and nearly 20 bombs.

Officials also reported that Iraqi army troops and coalition forces detained 10 suspects in joint operations conducted Oct. 2 near Baqubah.

No injuries or damages were reported, and the suspects are being held for further questioning by authorities.

In other action, coalition forces detained numerous terror suspects and seized multiple weapons caches in operations conducted between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1.

During a series of combat operations conducted throughout Baghdad beginning Oct. 1, U.S. forces detained 14 suspected terrorists, found six weapons caches, and seized terrorist propaganda materials.

The largest operations of the day were a pair of late-night raids resulting in the capture of 10 terror suspects in south Baghdad. One raid, which netted four suspects, was carried out after an Iraqi citizen provided a tip to coalition forces about terrorist activity taking place in his neighborhood.

Just before dawn, Task Force Baghdad soldiers acting on another tip from an Iraqi citizen, conducted a cordon-and-search operation in north Baghdad. In one hour, the soldiers searched four safe houses in the area and captured two terror suspects.

Later, around 8 a.m., a Task Force Baghdad patrol found a weapons cache while working in southwest Baghdad. The cache contained 22 mortar rounds wired with detonation cord, three artillery rounds, two hand grenades and some assault rifle ammunition.

Task Force Baghdad soldiers made their largest find of the day just before 10 a.m. After discovering 25 mortar rounds hidden in west Baghdad, the patrol fanned out to search the entire area.

A half hour later the soldiers found a second cache 150 yards away and then a third cache between the first two. The soldiers discovered two more caches during the search.

The five caches consisted of 64 mortar rounds, two mortar tubes, three rockets, three bombs, 20 rocket-propelled grenades, 12 hand grenades and numerous handguns.

U.S. soldiers also detained a suspected bomb maker at a house in north Baghdad at 10:30 p.m. Also, Task Force Baghdad soldiers detained another terror suspect and seized terrorist propaganda while searching three more houses in north Baghdad.

Elsewhere in Iraq, Task Force Baghdad soldiers apprehended two men northwest of the capital Sept. 29 who violated curfew and possessed a loaded rifle.

Soldiers of 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, heard gunshots and observed two men in a car on a highway after curfew. Upon stopping the vehicle, the soldiers discovered a loaded AK-47 assault rifle in the passenger's lap.

In Sadr City, Task Force Baghdad soldiers detained 12 Iraqis on Sept. 29 for suspected involvement in illegal punishment committee activities.

Punishment committees are often associated with executions of persons believed to have violated Islamic law.

Around 11:30 p.m., coalition forces stopped the vehicles containing 12 individuals at a checkpoint east of Sadr City in Baghdad.

Inside the vehicle, the soldiers found punishment committee and Mahdi Militia propaganda. The dozen Iraqis were questioned at the scene. One person possessed a card identifying him as a Sharia - or Islamic law - court judge of the Sadr Bureau's Punishment Committee.

A Sharia judge reportedly provides the official sanction of capital punishment against violators of Sharia law. In Iraq, only the sovereign Iraqi government has the judicial authority to enforce laws, detain subjects or pass judgment.

All 12 individuals are being processed through the Iraqi judicial system. In other news from Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 36 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 2 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

U.S. Air Force F-15s performed a pre-planned strike against an improvised-explosive-device staging area in the vicinity of Balad, expending one GBU-38 bomb with good effects.

Other U.S. Air Force F-15s and F-16s and British Royal Air Force GR-4s provided close air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Balad, Fallujah, and Jalula.

In addition, 10 U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Royal Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a non-traditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Task Force Baghdad, U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward and Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news releases.)

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Related Sites:
Multinational Force Iraq
Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq
U.S. Central Command Air Forces

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