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Forces Arrest Terrorist Leader, Other Suspects in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2009 – Iraqi forces, with U.S. advisors, arrested a terrorist leader and other suspected terrorists in operations in Iraq today and yesterday, military officials reported.

Iraqi forces, with U.S. advisors, arrested Badr Sarhan Shihan, the region’s Islamic State of Iraq leader, yesterday near Tuz Khurmatu, south of Kirkuk.

Shihan is a warranted criminal and active recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq terrorist organization, which is closely tied to al-Qaida in Iraq. Iraqi forces questioned and arrested an additional suspect during the operation who was determined to be an accomplice to criminal activity near Kirkuk.

In a separate operationyesterday, the force arrested four suspects near Tarmiyah, northwest of Baghdad. The security team searched several buildings and apprehended a key member of a Ramadi vehicle-bomb network. The suspect also is believed to be responsible for transporting several tons of explosive material to Baghdad for use in bomb attacks against Iraqi security forces and civilians in the area.

During the same operation, three additional suspects were questioned and identified as associates of vehicle- bomb networks in northern and central Iraq. Iraqi security forces also discovered material used for explosive devices.

The forces arrested all four suspects without incident and cleared the area of explosive material, officials said.

Elsewhere, Iraqi police arrested six suspects in western Iraq today during two operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq members and conspirators.

Iraqi forces, with U.S. advisors, searched several buildings for a warranted al-Qaida in Iraq member who supports and facilitates terrorist operations near Kirkuk. The security team encountered three suspects who, after questioning, were identified as associates of the warranted al-Qaida in Iraq member. Iraqi authorities on scene arrested the three suspects.

In a separate operation near Qara Tapa, northeast of Baghdad, Iraqi police, with U.S. advisors, searched for an al-Qaida in Iraq member who operates throughout Diyala province and is known to provide weapons training for al-Qaida in Iraq members.

During the security operation, the Iraqi police apprehended three suspects, who were arrested based on evidence found at the scene linking the three to criminal activity, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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