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Terrorist Chemical Expert Killed; Firefighters Find Explosives

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2006 – A key leader in the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group's military command was killed in a raid May 6 in Baghdad, and firefighters responding to a school fire east of Baghdad yesterday found a bomb-making factory, military officials in Iraq reported.

Ansar al-Islam member and chemical expert Ali Wali and his driver were killed during a counterterrorist raid in the Mansur district of Baghdad. Iraqi civilians transported the bodies to the morgue, where coalition forces confirmed the identity of the wanted terrorist. Neither Iraqi nor coalition forces were able to confirm the identity of the driver.

Ali Wali, whose full name is believed to be Abbas bin Farnas bin Qafqas, was a 37- or 38-year-old Iraqi Kurd who served as a key leader in Ansar al-Islam's military command responsible for training and military operations including the planning of suicide operations, ambushes and kidnappings, officials said.

Ali Wali also was an expert in the implementation of explosives as well as in the use of artillery, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons. Wali allegedly was an expert in toxins and poisons. Officials released a timeline of Wali's terrorist involvement:

  • 1986: Ali Wali lived in Afghanistan, where he received training and instructed on military tactics for over a decade;
  • Prior to 1998: Ali Wali was a member of the Islamic Unity Movement of Kurdistan;
  • 1998-2001: Ali Wali, having moved to northern Iraq, provided instruction in terrorist tactics, explosives and weapons handling to Ansar al-Islam members;
  • 2001: Ali Wali was imprisoned for about three months while returning to Iraq from Afghanistan for false documentation; and
  • 2002: Ansar al-Islam members, including Ali Wali, were allegedly manufacturing liquid containing "poisons" in northern Iraq.

In other news, what was originally reported as an explosion in the Sheik Abdel Kader mosque turned out to be a fire at the mosque's school, which is located in an adjacent building.

According to Iraqi army officials, Iraqi firefighters responded to a fire in the mosque's school in the Rusafa neighborhood of east Baghdad. The firefighters notified the Iraqi army that they had discovered explosives in the parking lot of the school.

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and an Iraqi police explosive ordnance disposal team arrived and discovered an assortment of rockets, rocket-propelled grenades, C-4 explosives and other bomb-making materials in the school.

As reported earlier by the Iraqi army, indications are the school was being used as an improvised-explosive devise production and staging area. Iraqi soldiers reported finding several completed IEDs staged in vehicles and ready to be taken to an emplacement site. According to Iraqi army officials, the guards at the mosque were observed by firefighters running away from the scene.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Division Baghdad news releases.)

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