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Iraqi Forces Arrest 21 Terrorism Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2009 – Iraqi security forces, working with U.S. advisors, arrested 21 terrorism suspects in various operations in recent days, military officials reported.

In southern Baghdad today, Iraqi security forces and U.S. advisors searched a building for a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq leader alleged in an arrest warrant to be responsible for multiple vehicle-borne bomb attacks in the region. Based on questioning and evidence found at the scene, they arrested a suspected associate of the wanted man.

In western Mosul yesterday, Iraqi police and U.S. advisors searched several buildings for an alleged member of the Islamic State of Iraq terrorist organization. He is suspected of building vehicle-borne bombs and facilitating deadly attacks against civilians and security forces. The security team tested people for the presence of explosives residue, and one man tested positive. Based on questioning and evidence gathered on scene, police arrested two suspects.

Southwest of Kirkuk yesterday, Iraqi police arrested a suspect during a combined operation to locate and arrest a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member who allegedly facilitates bombing attacks throughout the region. Based on questioning and evidence found at the scene, police arrested a suspected associate of the wanted man.

Iraqi security forces working with U.S. advisors arrested two warranted terrorists and 12 other suspects Nov. 14 during four operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq members believed to be responsible for roadside-bomb attacks throughout the country.

In one operation, a combined force searched two buildings in a rural area west of Mosul for an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq bombing cell leader. Iraqi forces recovered an assault rifle and grenades, and based on preliminary questioning and evidence found at the scene, arrested a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq associate. The man sought under the warrant was not apprehended.

Southwest of Kirkuk on Nov. 14, an Iraqi emergency services unit and U.S. advisors arrested a man suspected of providing logistical support to the Kirkuk-based vehicle-borne bombing network. The security team searched several buildings for the warranted man, who was identified and arrested along with two additional suspects found in the building.

During a third Nov. 14 operation near Beiji, Iraqi police and U.S. advisors searched several buildings for an al-Qaida in Iraq leader wanted on a warrant for acquiring explosives used for attacks against security forces in Iraq. Police searched multiple buildings in the area, and based on preliminary questioning, identified and arrested the wanted man.

While searching the building where the suspect was found, the security team uncovered a significant weapons cache containing advanced bomb-making components determined to be more sophisticated than those found during past investigations. The security team uncovered mechanisms that affix armor-piercing magnetic bombs to vehicles, making them unable to be removed unless the bombs are detonated. The team also uncovered RKG-3 rockets, assembled bombs, a mine and wire used to make pressure-activated explosive devices.

Information provided by the warranted suspect led the security team to a second location nearby. Police searched the area and questioned several people; six were identified and arrested based on information gathered at the scene.

During the fourth Nov. 14 operation conducted in Duwayarh, northwest of Baghdad, Iraqi forces with a warrant and U.S. advisors searched for an al-Qaida in Iraq member suspected of transporting explosives and planning attacks in the region. Based on evidence found at the scene, Iraqi police identified and arrested the wanted man and two alleged associates.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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