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Iraqi Forces Arrest 9 in Separate Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2010 – Iraqi police arrested nine terrorism suspects in combined operations with U.S. advisors in recent days, military officials reported.

Police arrested three suspected terrorists yesterday in a rural area northeast of Baghdad during an operation conducted to capture a regional leader of Jaysh al-Mahdi, an Iranian-backed terrorist group.

Acting on a warrant issued by an Iraqi judge, the 3rd Emergency Response Unit and U.S. advisors searched two buildings for the suspected leader of several cells responsible for committing crimes such as kidnappings for ransom to raise money for weapons and supplies used in attacks against security forces operating in the area.

After preliminary questioning and assessment of the evidence at the scene, police arrested three suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.

In operations Feb. 23 and yesterday in Baghdad and Abu Ghraib, police arrested a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq assassination-cell leader and five suspected criminal accomplices.

Police and U.S. advisors stopped a vehicle on a public road and searched two buildings based on intelligence reports indicating that assassination cells were posturing for pre-election attacks in hopes of disrupting campaign efforts and deterring voters from participating in national elections.

In western Baghdad on Feb. 23, Iraqi police and U.S. advisors stopped a vehicle in which a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq assassination-cell leader was believed to be traveling. Information gathered at the scene led police to identify and arrest the wanted cell leader and two suspected criminal associates.

Following the arrests, the security team proceeded yesterday to search the wanted man's home in Abu Ghraib and a suspected weapons-cache site in western Baghdad belonging to the arrested man. In the Abu Ghraib building, police arrested two suspected criminal associates of the cell leader. Although no weapons or explosives were found during the search in western Baghdad, police identified and arrested an additional suspected criminal associate of the captured suspected cell leader.

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

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