Coalition Captures Senior Terrorism Suspects in Iraq
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 5, 2008 Coalition troops captured more than a dozen suspected terrorists in Iraq today and yesterday, including at least three high-level al-Qaida in Iraq leaders, military officials said.
Of 14 people detained today, one is believed to a senior advisor of al-Qaida in Iraq operations in northern Mosul. Intelligence reports indicate he oversees all attacks there and provides advice for targeting, officials said.
Another wanted man detained today allegedly is involved in coordinating finances for al-Qaida in Iraq in Mosul, and is believed to take part in extortion schemes and kidnappings to raise money for terrorist operations. A third man detained is suspected of conspiring with senior leaders of the same terrorist group in Mosul.
Also today, coalition forces detained two men during an operation against leaders of a bomb network in Mosul. A 48-hour security sweep of Salamiyah, just south of Mosul, netted six suspected terrorists.
The coalition also targeted a bomb network that operates south of Mosul in the Tigris River Valley. Troops captured a suspect yesterday who told them where to find a wanted man from the network who is believed to be a liaison for senior al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists.
Intelligence reports indicate the wanted man was procuring bomb-making materials to distribute to cells in the area, officials said. Coalition forces found him today, hiding in a sheep pen, and called for him to surrender. Despite several warnings, including warning shots, the terrorist refused to comply. Coalition forces perceived a hostile threat and engaged the man, killing him, officials said.
In Baghdad today, coalition forces thwarted an attempt to re-establish al-Qaida in Iraq’s propaganda network after recent operations diminished its capability. Three suspected terrorists were detained, including a wanted man who allegedly has ties to terrorist operatives around the country.
South of Baghdad, coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists today while targeting an al-Qaida in Iraq network that brings foreigners and money into the country to support attacks against Iraqi civilians.
Troops brought six suspected terrorists into coalition custody today after operations in the Hamrin Mountains region targeted an al-Qaida in Iraq cell leader in Sadiyah, northeast of Baghdad.
In Beiji yesterday, coalition troops detained the suspected leader of a terrorist cell at the Beiji Oil Refinery. He is suspected of manufacturing improvised explosive devices, bribery, weapons trafficking and oil extortion. He is the third suspect arrested in connection with the Beiji ring in a week. The first member turned himself in to Iraqi police on Aug. 31. The second was detained by coalition forces on Sept. 3.
Also this week, Iraqi soldiers and national police seized numerous weapons caches in and around Baghdad, including 256 pounds of explosives, three mortar rounds, an 82 mm mortar round, a 60 mm high-explosive mortar round, .50-caliber machine guns, a rocket-propelled grenade, four tripods, 30 12.7 mm rounds, three spare barrels, a 2.75-inch rocket tube with explosives and an 180 mm projectile.
A Multinational Division Baghdad explosives ordnance disposal unit destroyed the weapons and munitions in a controlled detonation. The caches were found based on tips from local residents, officials said.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)