Coalition Forces Detain Suspected al-Qaida Couriers
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 22, 2008 Coalition forces targeting al-Qaida in Iraq courier networks captured one wanted man and three additional suspects today, further degrading the terrorist organization's ability to communicate, military officials reported.
Forces operating near Tarmiyah, about 20 miles north of Baghdad, captured a suspected terrorist who admitted to being a letter courier for a long-time al-Qaida operator. He also is believed to have connections with multiple al-Qaida operatives throughout the area. During the operation, coalition forces seized multiple weapons, including a Russian-made submachine gun.
In Sharqat, about 55 miles south of Mosul, coalition forces detained three suspects during an operation targeting a suspected terrorist courier with links to regional al-Qaida leadership.
In operations yesterday:
-- Coalition forces killed two enemy fighters during an operation about 11 miles south of Mosul. As coalition forces approached a vehicle occupied by the two men, one of them got out of the vehicle and began firing. Coalition forces engaged the men, killing them both. Several weapons, including a machine gun, a pistol and a grenade, were recovered from the vehicle. One of the men was associated with several al-Qaida personalities and involved with an al-Qaida courier network, officials said.
-- National police officers and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team detained four suspected Iranian-backed illegal militia members in eastern Baghdad yesterday. Police officers and their U.S. partners from 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, detained the suspects during an operation in the Beladiyat area of New Baghdad.
--- Acting on a tip from a “Sons of Iraq” citizen security group leader, Iraqi police detained a suspected member of a car bomb cell in Sharqat. The Iraqi police handed over custody of the detainee at a joint security station. In a separate operation southeast of Balad city, coalition forces detained five suspected members of al-Qaida in Iraq.
-- Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, discovered a weapons cache while investigating a tip from a concerned Iraqi. The soldiers notified an explosives ordnance disposal unit after they discovered four 57 mm rockets, nine 60 mm mortar rounds, two rocket-propelled grenades, two RPG boosters, an illumination round, a grenade fuse, 300 12.7 mm rounds, 200 7.62 mm rounds, and bomb-making materials.
In operations Sept. 20:
-- Sons of Iraq members flagged down Iraqi National Police officers to inform them of two individuals planting a bomb on the roof of a house in the Doura community. With the help of security volunteers, the police discovered the bomb and, upon searching the area, detained two known Iranian-backed illegal militia members suspected of placing it. The bomb was made from a 57 mm rocket rigged with a timer and initiator device. The detainees also are suspected of carrying out a similar attack against Iraqi security forces in August.
-- Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division’s Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, acting on intelligence information, conducted a target raid in Rashid’s Hadar community, capturing a reputed car bomb maker.
-- Iraqi soldiers discovered a cache in Mansour. The cache consisted of a roadside bomb, three RPGs, a hand grenade and a battery. A routine search of houses in the area also turned up eleven AK-47 assault rifles. The items were turned over to the 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)