Coalition Forces Detain 11 Suspects in Iraq Operations
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2008 Coalition forces in Iraq detained 11 suspected terrorists today during countrywide operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq leaders, military officials reported.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces captured a wanted terrorist and also detained his suspected accomplice. The wanted terrorist in custody is linked to ordering assassinations, leading a bombing cell, overseeing attacks, and personally supervising car-bombing and suicide operations.
-- In Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib sector, coalition forces detained a suspected car-bomb maker and six other suspects. Intelligence reports indicate the alleged bomb maker is associated with al-Qaida leaders in southern Baghdad.
-- During an operation in Jalula, coalition forces detained an alleged explosives expert who facilitates the movement of foreign terrorists into Iraq.
-- West of Beiji, coalition forces detained another suspected terrorist while targeting area al-Qaida leaders.
“Every capture of bombing-network leadership further degrades al-Qaida in Iraq’s ability to attack innocent Iraqis,” said Navy Cmdr. Scott Rye, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “We continue to work closely with everyday Iraqi citizens and Iraqi security forces to identify these terrorists and bring them to justice.”
In other news from Iraq, criminals in Baghdad’s Sadr City sector launched two rockets toward a coalition facility yesterday. Instead, the rockets struck near a mosque in Rusafa, killing one civilian and wounding 10 other people. A house also was damaged during the attack.
“These criminal elements who insist on ignoring the rule of Iraqi law are certainly not working in the best interest of Iraqis,” said Army Col. Bill Buckner, a Multinational Corps Iraq spokesman. “We will continue our efforts to bring these criminals to justice.”
Elsewhere, Iraqi soldiers are taking the lead during Operation Marne Piledriver, a joint U.S.-Iraqi offensive that was launched in the Mahmudiyah area April 15.
“The Iraqi soldiers took (the) initiative from the start,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Nathan Krueger, who is participating in the counterinsurgency operation.
Piledriver’s focus is to remove insurgents while stimulating local economic growth and development, officials said. “The main effort of our portion of Piledriver is to develop multiple (economic) projects as well as solid governance in the area,” U.S. Army Capt. Ryan Mayfield said. “We are providing support to the Iraqi Army wherever they deem it’s needed.”
In other April 15 operations, Iraqi soldiers discovered a weapons cache during a patrol in Haw al-Askery. A tip from a local resident led the soldiers to search inside the trunk of a car. The hidden cache contained: 24 60 mm anti-personnel improvised explosive devices, six rocket-propelled grenades, and two AK-47 rifle magazines.
Iraqi soldiers supporting Operation Marne Piledriver uncovered five weapons caches in Mahmudiyah on April 15. The caches contained: two 155 mm artillery rounds, one oxygen tank rigged as an improvised explosive device, a rocket launcher, two oxygen tanks, two 82 mm mortar tubes, a 3-foot tube of homemade explosives, and multiple pressure strips. Iraqi security forces are targeting insurgents with the help of coalition forces.
In addition, “Sons of Iraq” citizens security group members led U.S. soldiers and Iraqi policemen to a large, buried weapons cache in Tameem, a town east of Baghdad, April 14. The cache was found near the town’s police headquarters.
The cache contained: 389 82 mm mortar rounds, 96 125 mm tank rounds, 172 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds, 38 60 mm mortar rounds, 30 130 mm artillery rounds, 17 122 mm mortar rounds, 15 100 mm rockets, seven 155 artillery rounds, five 100 kg aircraft bombs, and four 120 mm mortar rounds. U.S. soldiers on the scene noted that although the munitions apparently had been buried for over a year, much of the ordnance could still be put to deadly use if it fell into the hands of insurgents.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)