Combined Forces Detain 37 in Iraq, Discover Alleged Prison Camp
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 29, 2007 Iraqi and coalition forces detained 37 suspected insurgents, found weapons caches and discovered an alleged prison camp holding 41 people in operations throughout Iraq over the past three days, military officials reported.
In operations around Iraq this morning, coalition forces detained 14 suspected terrorists, including a suspected al Qaeda regional emir.
Coalition forces raided a building in Baghdad searching for an alleged terrorist leader. When they found the building empty, the ground force moved to a follow-on target. There, they detained four suspected terrorists, including the alleged al Qaeda in Iraq emir in charge of the Hay al-Jamah area of the city.
In Mosul, coalition forces detained a suspected terrorist leader and his brother-in-law in two coordinated operations. Intelligence reports indicate the suspected terrorist leader was allegedly the emir of Ansar al-Sunna in Mosul until he fled to Syria in 2005 to avoid capture by coalition forces. He returned to Iraq in January.
Information gained from two successful operations yesterday led coalition forces to six buildings north of Fallujah, where they detained two suspected terrorists for their alleged ties to the al Qaeda in Iraq senior leadership network.
North of Taji, coalition forces raided three buildings in search of an al Qaeda senior leader. Six individuals were detained for their suspected association with the al Qaeda network.
"We're continuing our deliberate and methodical operations to hunt down and capture or kill terrorists trying to prevent a peaceful and stable Iraq," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
In another operation, Iraqi police in Kirkuk, acting upon a tip from captured insurgents, captured two suspected criminals believed to be supplying insurgent networks with weapons and explosives in the Kirkuk area yesterday.
With coalition forces present as advisors, Iraqi police detained their primary objectives without incident in the city of Hawijah, 40 miles southwest of Kirkuk. The detained are allegedly responsible for dealing weapons and explosives in Kirkuk, distributing artillery rounds to Sunni extremist elements, and using them as improvised-explosive-device materials for use against Iraqi security forces and coalition forces.
Coalition forces detained nine suspected terrorists in operations yesterday to disrupt the al Qaeda bombing attack network in Mosul and Anbar province.
Coalition forces raided several buildings in Mosul while targeting a senior leader of al Qaeda in Iraq known for coordinating attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces and playing a key role in the March 6 Badoush prison breakout. Two suspected terrorists were detained at the site for their alleged ties to the leader.
Across the city in a synchronized raid, coalition forces detained two more suspected terrorists for their involvement with another senior al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader. The terrorist cell is known for trafficking arms; attacking infrastructure, Iraqi and coalition forces; and orchestrating the construction and employment of car bombs.
Information from a successful raid May 26 led coalition forces to a target northwest of Haditha, where they searched for a Syrian suspected of facilitating foreign fighters and his Iraqi liaison. Coalition forces detained both the Syrian and his contact and three more suspected terrorists allegedly tied to the foreign fighter network.
"Every operation like this one brings us one step closer toward eliminating al Qaeda in Iraq and helping the Iraqis develop a country where they can determine their own futures," Garver said.
Elsewhere, Iraqi army and coalition force soldiers conducted a raid based on a tip from a local citizen, and discovered 41 individuals being held at a suspected prison camp six miles south of Baqouba on May 27. During the raid on Imam Ways, soldiers from 5th Iraqi Army Division and 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, discovered the men, who claimed to have been held captive by al Qaeda. Some claimed to have been held as long as four months.
A joint air and ground operation lead by the 5th Iraqi Army Division was launched to locate the alleged prison camp after receiving information from a local citizen. The individuals, who were living in a small concrete and mud compound located about one-half mile west of the village, were sleeping in cramped rooms on dirty blankets and pillows, according to coalition forces present at the site. Soldiers also described the individuals' surroundings as having rotting food inside the building and outside on the ground. Coalition forces transported the men were to a nearby combat outpost for further medical evaluation. The individuals were provided with food and water and questioned about their captors’ whereabouts. This incident remains under investigation.
In another operation on May 27, Iraqi police acting upon a tip from an anonymous informant captured nine suspected al Qaeda in Iraq operatives and seized materials believed to be used for small-arms attacks, murder, kidnapping and ransom.
The raid netted a small cache of weapons including two AK-47 assault rifles, two grenades, more than 600 rounds of ammunition, three ski masks, military equipment, large sums of money, and a video camera with evidence of a recent car bomb attack in Samarra. The car bomb attack destroyed the home of the Samarra City Council president.
This raid was conducted in order to disrupt an entire insurgent cell operating in the Samarra area.
Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers and Iraqi security forces moved clearing operations into the East Rashid security district of southern Baghdad May 26, detaining three suspected insurgents and finding two weapons caches.
The operation, known as Dragon Fire East, includes about 2,000 U.S Army soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. They are joined in the operation by Iraqi troops from the 7th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division.
During the first hours of Operation Dragon Fire East, soldiers discovered a cache that contained six 57 mm projectiles rigged as two separate improvised explosive devices; two additional 57 mm rounds; a 60 mm mortar; a 130 mm round and a concrete block hollowed out to fit a 130 mm projectile.
A search at another location revealed 2,000 loose rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, two rocket-propelled-grenade launchers with seven sights, a roll of white double-strand wire used for fabricating IEDs, and an AK-47 assault rifle. Soldiers found and destroyed an IED as well. The three suspected terrorists detained during the operation were held for further questioning.
In other developments, a security detainee died May 26 at Camp Cropper. An attending physician at Camp Cropper’s medical facility pronounced the detainee dead at 2:59 p.m.
An investigation is pending to determine the cause of death, a standard procedure for detainees who die while in custody of the Multinational Force Iraq. The suspected cause of death is complications from diabetes, U.S. officials said. The detainee had a history of diabetes with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The family will receive the remains upon completion of the investigation, in accordance with standard procedure.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)