Operations Continue Against al-Qaida, Hataib Hezbollah
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2008 Coalition and Iraqi troops hit the al-Qaida and Kataib Hezbollah terrorist groups during operations across the country, officials in Iraq said today.
It is a sign of the progress in Iraq that most of the operations were intelligence-driven, officials said.
In the Rusafa neighborhood of Bagdad today, coalition forces captured four suspected Kataib Hezbollah terrorists. Kataib Hezbollah, also known as Hezbollah Brigades, is believed to receive funding, training, logistics and material support from Iran to attack Iraqi and coalition forces using what the military calls “explosively formed penetrators” – roadside bombs designed to pierce armor-hulled vehicles – and other weapons such as rocket-assisted mortars.
Acting on intelligence information, coalition forces targeted a key Kataib Hezbollah administrator assessed to have close ties to network leadership. They captured the four suspects without incident.
The Kataib Hezbollah network is believed to be responsible for a botched mortar attack on coalition forces June 4 that resulted in 18 Iraqi civilians killed, 29 civilians injured and 19 homes destroyed, officials said.
Al-Qaida also took a hit when coalition forces in Anbar province detained six suspected terrorists. The forces captured four men in Fallujah, one of whom is believed to have provided forged official documents for terrorists.
In Dallawiyah, coalition forces broke up an al-Qaida courier network with the capture of two more men.
Coalition forces also hit another Iranian-affiliated organization, seizing money yesterday from the Asaib Ahl al-Haq criminal network. The forces, operating south of Amarah, found more than $205,000 in U.S. currency, 126,000 Iranian rial and 8.5 million Iraqi dinar.
The soldiers also discovered several passports, Iranian visas, various IDs and other items linking the suspect to the Asaib Ahl al-Haq network. All told, raids against Asaib Ahl al-Haq operatives have seized more than $400,000 so far this month, officials said.
In Baghdad, Iraqi National Police and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers took weapons off the streets Oct. 17. A sheik turned in a cache to soldiers. Policemen located two speed-bump-type roadside bombs a local man found in his house when he was cleaning to move back in. An explosive ordnance disposal team was called in. Also in Baghdad, soldiers detained three men trafficking in weapons in the Rashid district and the Risalah community, yesterday.
In operations that began Oct. 11, coalition and Iraqi police found 18 weapons caches in the north of the country. The caches included 2,000 7.62 rounds, 800 blasting caps, 400 machine-gun rounds, 100 artillery projectiles, 20 rocket-propelled grenades and 15 mortar rounds. Half of the caches were found west of Samarra or in Mosul, officials said.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)