Coalition Forces Capture Two Alleged Senior al Qaeda Leaders
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2007 Coalition forces captured two alleged al Qaeda emirs, killed four terrorists and detained 21 suspected terrorists during Iraq operations over the past two days.
Last night, coalition forces captured the alleged al Qaeda sniper emir of Mosul. As the assault force entered two targeted buildings, a man approached the perimeter security element. Even after the ground forces used appropriate measures, the man continued to advance on the security element. Coalition forces, responding appropriately to the hostile threat, engaged the man and killed him, U.S. officials said.
Inside the targeted buildings, coalition forces detained the alleged emir, who was believed to be involved in a plot against the mayor of Mosul on March 9 and has allegedly claimed responsibility for at least one coalition death in the last month. The suspected terrorist allegedly supervised 10-15 operatives and has conducted kidnapping operations to bring in money for his own use. Ground forces on the scene detained one additional suspect and discovered a small cache containing body armor, weapons, a rifle sight manual, and extremist propaganda.
"The leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq should know we are continually targeting them and will not rest until we have captured or killed them," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Every removal of a leader of al Qaeda at any level weakens the terrorist organization and strengthens coalition and Iraqi security force operations against it."
In other operations today:
-- In western Baghdad, coalition forces captured an alleged al Qaeda media emir tied to propaganda cells throughout Baghdad. During the raid, the ground forces found a large amount of U.S. currency and improvised explosive device-making materials. Two more individuals were detained for their ties to the suspected emir.
-- Coalition forces targeted a media cell and its leader, also suspected of facilitating the movement of foreign terrorists, in a raid near Samarra this morning. A man in a tactical fighting position was killed by aircraft strafing. The ground forces found weapons on site and detained seven suspected terrorists during for their alleged ties to the foreign terrorist network and media cell.
-- North of Karmah, coalition forces continued to target senior al Qaeda leaders in Anbar province. As the assault force approached the targeted buildings, coalition forces killed two terrorists armed with AK-47 rifles and using a woman as a human shield. The troops moved the woman out of the way before engaging the men. Four suspected terrorists were detained during the operation.
-- A raid in Tarmiyah targeted a suspected al Qaeda terrorist who has close ties to the al Qaeda emir of Baghdad. The ground forces detained four suspected terrorists during the operation.
In operations yesterday, Iraqi security captured a suspected key al Qaeda leader in an early morning raid in Kirkuk. The targeted suspect is believed to be responsible for a July 16 car-bomb attack in Kirkuk that killed more than 85 civilians and injured more than 180. With U.S. Special Forces as advisors, the Iraqi security forces detained four suspects in addition to the primary target.
“This successful mission is another demonstration of the committment and resolve to stopping violent criminal elements and ensuring the safety of the population,” a senior U.S. Special Forces commander said.
Also yesterday, during a series of combined operations with Iraqi police, Iraqi army soldiers shot and killed three members of the Islamic State of Iraq terrorist organization, including its leader, the touted al Qaeda emir of Mosul. The troops, from 2nd Iraqi Army Division headquarters, were conducting cordon-and-search operations in northeastern Mosul when they spotted the suspect and two of his bodyguards in a pickup truck. The convoy gave chase and pulled the vehicle over. The men exited the pickup and began firing at the Iraqi soldiers. The Iraqi security element returned fire, killing all three.
"The Iraqi security forces are leading the way here in Ninewah province, unilaterally executing Provincial Governor Kashmoula's security plan with incredible success," said Army Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
In other operations this week, Iraqi security forces and U.S. Special Forces soldiers detained four suspected Shiia extremists who are believed to be linked to the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia in Baghdad on July 31. The suspects are allegedly responsible for engaging in death squad killings of innocent civilians in the Baghdad area. They also allegedly are connected to a terrorist network responsible for emplacing improvised explosive devices and participating in criminal activities aimed at undermining legitimate elected officials, U.S. officials said.
While conducting a dismounted patrol in an area outside of Falahat on July 30, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers found a large weapons cache consisting of 155 Russian-made 57 mm mortar rounds.
"This is an extremely significant find, which will keep weapons out of the hands of al Qaeda operatives who would have used them in attacks against innocent Iraqi civilians, coalition forces and Iraqi security forces," said Army Lt. Col. Peter Andrysiak, deputy commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. "Since establishing a patrol base here, our troopers have found seven caches within the past month. Two of those caches were found with the help of local neighborhood watch volunteers who are fed up with sectarian violence and want to keep their community safe for the sake of their families.”
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Corps Iraq and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula news releases.)