Al Qaeda Disrupted During Operations in Iraq’s Tigris River Valley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2007 Coalition forces killed seven terrorists and detained 12 suspected terrorists today during operations in central and northern Iraq.
During an operation targeting an al Qaeda cell, coalition forces returned to an area east of Tarmiyah where they killed 13 terrorists and captured 12 suspects last week. Local Iraqis who had helped coalition forces target the cell last week continued to provide information about terrorist operations there.
The assault force killed two armed men who attacked with small-arms fire. As the force continued to secure the buildings, they repeatedly encountered armed men attempting to barricade themselves in individual rooms. In all five cases, coalition forces fought and killed the men. Coalition forces also detained four suspected terrorists and assessed that nine individuals identified in intelligence reports had been killed or captured.
"With the help of the Iraqi community, we basically crippled this cell," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We'll continue working with local citizens to dismantle the rest of the networks that threaten the security of Iraq."
In other operations today:
-- Information from a raid in Baghdad on Aug. 15 led coalition forces to a weapons facilitator in the capital city. Coalition forces killed two hostile men in the targeted building. One of the men was identified as the weapons trafficker sought in the raid. Coalition forces detained one suspected terrorist from the scene.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces detained two suspects while targeting an alleged al Qaeda leader who issued orders to attack Kurds, Iraqi police and coalition forces, and is believed to have been a key recruiter for al Qaeda in Iraq.
-- Near Taji, information from an operation Aug. 17 helped coalition forces target a weapons facilitator associated with al Qaeda senior leaders. The ground forces detained four suspected terrorists during the raid. North of there, an operation to disrupt al Qaeda’s influence in Bayji netted two suspected terrorists allegedly tied to the top terrorist leaders in the area.
-- Iraqi and coalition forces detained nine suspected terrorists associated with two high-profile bombing attacks during operations in Kirkuk and Tikrit. In Kirkuk, forces targeted a member of the local car-bombing cell believed to have used his house to store truck bombs used in a July 16 attack that killed 80 people. Ground forces detained four suspected terrorists linked to the cell. Coalition forces also targeted associates of Haytham Sabah al-Badri, who participated in the Samarra Golden Mosque bombing. Coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists during the operation and found an 80-pound bag of Iraqi money.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces conducted two raids targeting the suicide-bombing network there. A precision raid nabbed a suspected expert car-bomb maker in charge of all suicide bombers in the area. During another raid, coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists linked to a safe house operator who shelters suicide bombers for attacks in Ninewa and Dahuk provinces.
-- During a raid in the Tarmiyah area, coalition forces captured a suspected senior operative of a bombing network whose leader was killed during an operation Aug. 20. Three additional suspects were detained for their ties to the bombing network.
“Each operation presents us the next piece of intelligence, the next target, the next mission to capture and disrupt the networks conducting brutal and indiscriminate attacks against Iraqis,” Garver said. “We’re pursuing them relentlessly; we want to stop them before they can strike.”
In operations earlier this week:
-- Iraqi security forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors conducted a raid in Kubaysah on Aug. 22, detaining an al Qaeda terrorist believed to be responsible for shooting down a coalition helicopter in 2004. During the raid, Iraqi police detained a second person of interest and confiscated an assault rifle, numerous identification cards and passports. The second individual is a known al Qaeda terrorist and allegedly associated with improvised explosive devices and sniper attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi security forces in Hit and Kubaysah.
-- Iraqi and U.S. Special Forces soldiers detained three suspected terrorists in the village of Bulayj and destroyed a weapons cache near Mandali on Aug. 22. During the cordon-and-search operation in Bulayj, soldiers raided two structures local Iraqis identified as al Qaeda safe houses. Three males were detained, one of whom was identified as a terrorist cell leader responsible for attacking Iraqi soldiers in April, killing six people. In a second operation in the village of Khalaf al Hassun, soldiers uncovered a weapons cache during a raid to disrupt an al Qaeda improvised explosive device-making cell. The cache of high explosives, copper wire, pressure wire, blasting caps and electrical wire used for making improvised explosive devices was destroyed in place. A truck and motorcycle from the cache house, along with two AK-47 assault rifles, four cases of AK-47 ammunition and three cases of machine gun ammunition, were confiscated by the Iraqi army.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Corps Iraq and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula news releases.)