Coalition Forces Detain 11 in Iraq
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Mar. 3, 2008 Coalition forces in Iraq today detained 11 suspected terrorists, including an Iranian-supported “special groups” facilitator, military officials reported.
The suspected special groups facilitator was detained with another suspected criminal early today in Mashru, south of Baghdad. Intelligence led ground forces to the target area, where they captured the two suspects without incident.
The targeted individual reportedly was a special groups logistical advisor for Wasit province. As a logistical leader, he allegedly facilitated the movement of special groups criminals involved in sniper and armor-piercing explosively formed penetrator attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. He also is suspected of facilitating weapon shipments, including EFPs, rockets and mortars.
Reports also indicate the wanted individual was an associate of special groups criminal element leaders involved in attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces, officials said.
Also today, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists while targeting an alleged foreign terrorist involved in improvised-explosive-device and mortar-attacks against coalition forces in Mosul.
During coordinated operations in Tarmiyah today, coalition forces captured two wanted individuals believed to be involved in the al Qaeda in Iraq network in Baghdad’s northern belt. One of the suspects allegedly acts as an advisor to senior leaders in the network, while the other suspect is believed to be the al Qaeda in Iraq military leader for the network.
The network is responsible for the majority of IED attacks in the area, and is involved in extortion, intimidation, weapons trafficking, and facilitating foreign terrorists, officials said. In addition to the two wanted individuals, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists during the operations.
Northwest of Haditha today, coalition forces captured an alleged associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader. Two other suspects were detained southwest of Samarra in operations targeting an alleged leader for the al Qaeda in Iraq network in the area.
“We will continue to target al Qaeda in Iraq’s networks, disrupting their ability to conduct brutal, indiscriminate attacks,” said Army Lt. Col. Maura Gillen, a Multinational Force Iraq spokeswoman. “These successful operations, combined with efforts of Iraqi security forces, will erode insurgents’ resources and their ability to strike fear into the people of Iraq.”
Also today, a suicide car bomb exploded in the Muthan Zayuna neighborhood in the eastern Baghdad district of Rusafa, killing two Iraqi army soldiers and wounding two Iraqi soldiers and three civilians.
Soldiers identified and prevented the suicide bomber from reaching its intended target at about 7:30 a.m. On-scene Iraqi army commanders reported the target likely was the Iraqi army headquarters in Rusafa.
Yesterday in Iraq, during operations in eastern Mosul, coalition forces targeted an alleged Saudi leader of an al Qaeda in Iraq suicide-bombing cell in the city. The targeted individual reportedly is responsible for facilitating foreign terrorists and conducting attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces in the area, officials said. The suspect also is an alleged associate of Abu Yasir al-Saudi, also known as Jar Allah, the Saudi al Qaeda in Iraq leader and foreign-terrorist facilitator who was killed Feb. 27.
As the ground force entered the target area, they discovered a vehicle containing a weapons cache, including two anti-aircraft weapons, mortar rounds and machine gun ammunition. Coalition forces then began to receive heavy machine-gun fire from enemy personnel in and around the area. The ground force returned fire and, during a series of engagements, killed an estimated five terrorists. Coalition forces also found another vehicle containing a cache of weapons, which included two heavy machine guns, a mortar tube, rockets and several hundred machine-gun rounds. Both vehicles found in the target area and the weapons caches were destroyed on site. Due to the hostile environment, the ground force departed and was not able to clear the area.
Also yesterday, Iraqi traffic police found an IED on a foot bridge in the Karada district of eastern Baghdad and alerted Iraqi security forces in the area.
Iraq police and Iraqi army soldiers confirmed the presence of the IED and secured the area. The police and Iraqi army detained a suspect who they believe placed the IED. The suspect appeared to be fleeing the scene, and his vehicle was confiscated. Explosive ordnance disposal personnel safely detonated the IED on site without incident.
On March 1, Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq operative in the Rashid district of the Iraqi capital.
Following numerous tips, Iraqi and coalition soldiers conducted an operation at a home in Doura and detained a man believed to be an al Qaeda in Iraq cell member with ties to IED and indirect-fire attacks. The suspect was taken to a coalition forces detention facility for further questioning.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)