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Operations in Iraq Net 20 Terrorism Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2010 – Iraqi security forces arrested 20 suspected terrorists in operations in Iraq over the last two days, military officials reported.

Fourteen of the suspects were arrested during four combined security operations in Baghdad and northern Iraq designed to degrade al-Qaida in Iraq operations, officials said.

In northwestern Baghdad yesterday, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors arrested a wanted terrorist-cell leader believed to be closely associated with senior al-Qaida in Iraq members in Baghdad and to be responsible for planning bombing attacks. Iraqi forces arrested the wanted cell leader and a suspected criminal associate based on preliminary questioning and evidence collected at the scene.

Today in southwestern Baghdad, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched several buildings for a suspected terrorist cell member who builds and employs bombs targeting security forces in Iraq in coordination with al-Qaida in Iraq. The suspect also is wanted for hiding terrorist weapons.

A roadside-bomb arming device and forged official documents were found on scene. Based on evidence and information gathered during the operation, Iraqi forces arrested the wanted suspect and nine suspected criminal associates.

Also today, an Iraqi emergency response unit and U.S. advisors in Muqdadiyah, northeast of Baghdad, searched a building for a suspected member of an al-Qaida in Iraq attack cell that conducts bombing attacks against Iraqi forces and civilians.

Evidence collected at the scene led police to arrest a suspected criminal associate of the wanted cell leader.

Members of the same emergency response unit and U.S. advisors also conducted an operation near Sulayman Bak, southeast of Kirkuk, searching several buildings for a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq cell leader. Iraqi police arrested a suspected criminal associate of the wanted man.

In Baghdad yesterday, Iraqi federal police with U.S. forces advisors, acting on a warrant, arrested six suspected terrorists. The suspects allegedly are affiliated with an al-Qaida in Iraq cell in the Arab Jabour area. The cell is responsible for bombing and small-arms attacks against Iraqi forces.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Iraq news releases.)

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