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Coalition Kills al Qaeda Leader, Detains 18 Suspected Terrorists in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2007 – Coalition forces killed an al Qaeda leader and detained 18 suspected terrorists during operations today to disrupt the terrorist network and its bombing operations in central and northern Iraq.

Coalition forces killed the al Qaeda in Iraq emir of the Arab Jabour area, who managed all terrorist attacks in the area south of Baghdad. When coalition forces approached the target building, they received small-arms fire. Firing in self-defense, they killed one terrorist who was later determined to be the terrorist emir. The ground forces detained eight suspected terrorists and discovered a cache of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. An air strike safely destroyed the cache.

"Our operations are steadily and systematically chipping away at the al Qaeda in Iraq network in Baghdad and around the country," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We want to ensure the bombing network in the capital is unable to recover from the damage we've inflicted upon it."

In northern Iraq today, coalition forces conducted three operations targeting al Qaeda in Iraq leaders and their associates. The ground forces detained 10 suspected terrorists during the operations in Mosul and Bayji. One suspect is believed to be an al Qaeda leader in his neighborhood, and another allegedly has ties to senior al Qaeda leaders in northern Iraq.

Also today, during a pre-dawn raid in Karbala, coalition forces captured a man suspected of being an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force affiliate.

The captured man is suspected of coordinating with high-level Iranian militants for the transportation of Iraqis to Iran for training at Iranian terrorist camps. He also is a known logistics facilitator providing lethal aid to terrorists operating in central Baghdad, officials said. Coalition forces also detained another individual for questioning during the operation.

"As Iran continues its proxy war against the people of Iraq, coalition forces will continue to build on recent operations to disrupt the flow of illicit, lethal materials from Iran into Iraq," Garver said. "The capture of individuals affiliated with the IRGC Quds Force is an integral part of dismantling terror networks that seek to kill innocent Iraqis and security forces."

In other operations this week:

-- Soldiers with 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team captured four suspected insurgents during Operation Black Shark on Sept. 3 in the Iraqi capital's New Baghdad district. The operation, carried out by soldiers of Company D, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, was part of the continuous effort to sweep out insurgent strongholds. Soldiers also recovered two AK-47 assault rifles, one magazine and 707,000 Iraqi dinar, equal to about $600.

-- Members of 9th Iraqi Army Division with U.S. Special Forces advisors detained an alleged extremist death squad member in the Baghdad area Sept. 3. The suspect is part of a notorious death squad in New Baghdad. He is alleged to be responsible for kidnapping, torturing and killing innocent civilians. He is also part of a criminal network that specializes in the use of attacks with machine guns and bombs designed to maim, kill or disrupt Iraqi and coalition forces operating in the area. During the mission, body armor, detonator switches, switch boards and various other suspicious objects used to harm or kill Iraqi and coalition members were seized.

-- Acting on tips from concerned citizens, scouts from Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, detained three people and seized a large weapons cache east of Baghdad on Sept. 2. The 789th Explosive Ordnance Company, from Fort Benning, Ga., destroyed eight rocket-propelled grenades, six 82 mm mortars, two fragmentary grenades, 21 mortar fuses, a five-gallon fuel can filled with an unknown explosive, 20 detonating cords, two blasting caps and three rocket-propelled-grenade launchers. Two AK-47 assault rifles, seven magazines and bomb-making materials also were confiscated.

-- Soldiers from 2nd Iraqi Army Division supported by coalition forces arrested a suspected bomber in the Karama neighborhood in eastern Mosul on Sept. 2. Two Iraqi soldiers observed two suspicious individuals hiding a bomb in front of the neighborhood power plant and pursued them into a residential area north of the plant. The two suspects split up upon entering the neighborhood; one was detained after forces found him hiding. The Iraqi soldiers also found a plastic bag with a digital video camera containing footage of an ambush on an Iraqi patrol from the previous night. The suspect tested positive for explosive residue and was taken in for further questioning.

"This is a textbook example of reacting to intelligence and following the evidence to take a bad guy off the streets," said Army Maj. Roderick Cunningham, a 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division spokesman. "Hopefully this will prevent him from injuring or killing anyone in the future and will make this neighborhood a little safer for its residents."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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