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Iraqis Arrest 9 Terrorism Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2010 – Iraqi security forces working with U.S. advisors arrested nine suspected terrorists over the last two days, military officials reported.

Eight of the arrests occurred today during four combined operations in central and northern Iraq.

In southwestern Baghdad, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors found bomb-making materials and arrested a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq leader whose group is believed to be responsible for conducting high-profile attacks and robberies in Baghdad.

Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors found triggering devices for explosives while searching for a suspected member of an al-Qaida in Iraq cell believed to be responsible for planning and executing bombing attacks and assassinations throughout the region. Information and evidence gathered during the operation led Iraqi forces to identify and arrest the wanted man and two suspected criminal associates.

In Hafriyah, southeast of Kirkuk, an Iraqi emergency response unit and U.S. advisors searched for a suspected terrorist-group leader who is believed to be helping other terrorist groups plan and conduct attacks designed to discourage participation in Iraq’s upcoming elections. After questioning people and examining the evidence at the scene, Iraqi police arrested two suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.

Meanwhile, in a rural area northeast of Baghdad, an Iraqi emergency response unit and U.S. advisors searched for a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member who assists the terrorist group's leadership in communicating instructions and messages between Iraq’s Diyala province and Baghdad. Evidence and information collected during the operation led Iraqi police to arrest two suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.

Yesterday in Ninevah province, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors arrested a suspected cell leader affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq terrorist group in Mosul. The suspect is accused of ordering vehicle-bomb attacks in northern Iraq. Officials also believe he ordered assassinations and bombing attacks on Iraqi forces throughout Ninevah.

In addition, officials said, intelligence reports indicate the cell may be linked to manufacturing bombs for several cells in the Mosul area.

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

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