Iraqi-led Operation Nets 63 al-Qaida in Iraq Suspects
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2008 Sixty-three suspected al-Qaida in Iraq members were detained during an operation led by Iraqi security forces in Iraq’s Ninevah province yesterday.
The operation was conducted in response to the kidnapping of an Iraqi journalist and the murders of four other Iraqi journalists Sept. 13, officials said.
In other operations yesterday:
-- Iraqi soldiers found rockets and improvised explosive devices inside a vehicle used to carry out attacks in the Rusafa district of eastern Baghdad. After receiving a report of a rocket being fired from a vehicle in the Muthana-Zayuna area of Rusafa, Iraqi soldiers tracked down the vehicle and uncovered rockets, IEDs and equipment used to handle them inside the vehicle. They seized three 57 mm rockets with timing devices, two IEDs and the attack vehicle.
-- A tip from a local citizen led 25th Infantry Division soldiers serving with Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, to a cache northwest of Baghdad. The soldiers seized various grenades, rockets, mortars and a mortar tube.
-- A concerned citizen led soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, to a cache west of Baghdad. The cache included a 60 mm mortar, 19 82 mm mortars, 100 40 mm grenades, an SA-14 missile, a GPS system and various bomb-making materials. Soldiers from the same company found a 60 mm mortar during an operation to capture a suspected Iranian-backed illegal militia member in the same area.
-- Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division’s Troop A, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, detained a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq associate in the Hadar community. Iraqi National Police detained two suspected al-Qaida in Iraq members in the Masafee community.
In operations Sept. 13:
-- Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, found an 82 mm mortar round in the Jihad community. An explosives ordnance disposal unit took the mortar round to a forward operating base for analysis and destruction.
-- Also in the Jihad community, soldiers from the same unit detained an alleged Iranian-backed illegal militia member believed to be responsible for recent sectarian attacks in the Jihad and Furat communities.
-- Based on information provided by a concerned citizen, Iraqi soldiers seized a substantial munitions cache believed to be used to build bombs, including devices designed specifically to pierce armor-hulled vehicles, in Sadr City. The munitions seized included 32 copper plates, 20 pounds of M-112 Iranian-manufactured C-4 plastic explosives, 200 pounds of ball bearings, 31 retaining rings, eight PVC casings used for manufacturing armor-piercing bombs, five hand grenades, 100 meters of firing wire, and a large array of bomb-triggering devices.
-- Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division’s Company B, 52nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, found a cache northwest of Baghdad that consisted of three rocket-propelled grenade rounds, four grenade fuses, 10 sticks of TNT and 30 Dishka rounds.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)