Al Qaeda Terrorist Thought Killed in Safe House Attack
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 10, 2005 Coalition officials reported a senior al Qaeda terrorist may have been killed when fighter aircraft dropped precision-guided munitions on a terrorist safe house in the western Iraq city of Ubaydi today.
The senior al-Qaeda terror consultant and foreign fighter facilitator known as "Sheik" is believed to have been in the house at the time of the attack. Sheik has been linked to other senior al-Qaeda in Iraq and foreign fighter facilitators operating throughout the Euphrates Valley, officials said.
Intelligence sources confirmed that Sheik was specifically brought in to the Husaybah area to consult with Abu Islam, thought to have been killed in a recent coalition air strike, and Abu Ibrahim, Islam's brother and successor to manage terror operations in the area, officials noted.
Sheik has been known to have extensive connections throughout the Middle East to include Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Syria. From those countries his connections recruited and financed foreign fighters, who were later smuggled into Iraq, usually through Syria, and subsequently delivered to various terrorist groups in western Iraq, officials said.
Officials said the type of munitions used and the timing of the air strike to destroy the safe house lowered the risk to civilians in the local area.
In other news from Iraq, Task Force Freedom detained 13 suspected terrorists in operations in northern Iraq Sept. 8 and 9.
During a raid Sept. 9, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, detained a terror suspect in western Mosul.
Multinational forces and Iraqi army soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, detained seven terror suspects after receiving small-arms fire in Ganus Sept. 8.
In another raid, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, detained five terror suspects during separate operations in eastern Mosul.
In Tal Afar Sept. 8, Task Force Freedom soldiers killed nearly a dozen terrorists engaged in movement of arms and other operations.
Coalition aircraft flew 47 close air support and armed reconnaissance sorties Sept. 9 in support of ground troops, officials reported today. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.
U.S. Air Force F-16s performed a strike against a building used by insurgents in the vicinity of Al Qaim.
Other sorties included U.S. Air Force F-16s and Navy F/A-18s that provided close air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Al Mahmudiyah, Al Mansuriyah and Baquba. Ten Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions to support operations in Iraq. U.S. and Royal Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)