Iraq Raids Net 32 Terrorists; Baghdad Bombs Hurt 4 Iraqis
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jun. 7, 2007 Coalition forces today captured 32 suspected terrorists during a series of raids that targeted al Qaeda operations in Baghdad and western Iraq, officials said.
Coalition forces in central Iraq today detained 16 suspected terrorists during operations that targeted al Qaeda in Iraq leaders.
-- In three coordinated raids southeast of Fallujah, coalition forces detained 11 suspected terrorists with al Qaeda ties. Officials believed two of them are responsible for recruiting and facilitating terrorist cells in the area.
-- Coalition forces also captured a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist leader during a raid on two buildings in Hit. The individual allegedly replaced another senior leader who’d recently fled the area. Coalition forces detained three more suspected terrorists at the scene for their connection to al Qaeda senior leadership.
-- In continuing operations to disrupt the car-bomb network, coalition forces detained one suspected terrorist in Baghdad.
"Our methodical, sustained operations are making it more difficult for al Qaeda to operate, and we'll continue to apply pressure to eliminate their attacks against Iraqis and those who are working to secure the country's future," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
Also today in Iraq, coalition forces detained another 16 suspected terrorists during morning raids in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood. The detainees captured in Sadr City are suspected members of a clandestine terrorist cell known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training.
Four of the detainees tested positive for contact with explosives. Coalition officials cite intelligence reports indicating that one of the detainees is a key terrorist leader with ties to Iranian intelligence. This detainee is believed to be responsible for attacks on Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and coalition forces in Baghdad, officials said.
“We will seek out and find terrorists where they hide,” Garver said. “Removing the networks that bring in explosively formed penetrators is a top priority to protect the Iraqi people and the security forces that serve them.”
In operations yesterday, coalition forces operating in Baghdad killed two terrorists and detained 10 other people in raids targeting an al-Qaeda in Iraq car-bomb network.
The two men who were killed ran into a building and attempted to retrieve weapons visible inside. Coalition forces fired at the two men, killing them. Another suspected terrorist was detained on the scene, and three vehicles used to transport weapons and personnel for the terror cell were destroyed.
In five other raids conducted in Baghdad yesterday, coalition forces detained six suspected terrorists associated with the car-bomb network and destroyed two vehicles used to transport weapons and personnel for the cell. A related raid south of Tarmiyah netted three suspects tied to the terrorist group.
“Targeting the al Qaeda in Iraq (car-bomb) network is a top priority for coalition forces," Garver said. “We continue to work to reduce and eventually eliminate the ability of terrorists to attack innocent Iraqis.”
Meanwhile, Iraqi soldiers accompanied by coalition advisors seized four suspected al Qaeda operatives yesterday during raids on several residences in Saqlimiyah, officials said. No coalition or Iraqi troops were hurt in the operation.
Iraqi special operations troops detained four suspected assassins believed to be coordinating and conducting killings in the Baghdad area during a June 5 operation in Baghdad. While detaining the individuals, the Iraqi troops came under enemy fire. The Iraqi forces returned fire, and the engagement ended. No Iraqi or coalition forces, who’d served as advisors, were injured during the operation.
(Information compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)