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Troops in Iraq Catch 23 Suspects, Seize Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2008 – Coalition and Iraqi forces detained 23 suspects and seized weapons caches in Iraq over the past two days, military officials said.

During operations today:

-- Coalition forces in the Adhamiyah section of Baghdad detained four suspects, including a wanted man who is an alleged associate of an Iranian-backed group known as Kataib Hezbollah. The wanted suspect is believed to be responsible for smuggling weapons and fighters across the Iraq-Iran border, military officials said.

-- In a separate operation in Adhamiyah, coalition troops caught a man who military officials believe is linked to makeshift missile attacks. At the target site, forces detained two other suspects and uncovered weapons and materials possibly used for assembling homemade missiles.

-- Troops detained three men in the northern belt around Baghdad for their suspected ties to al-Qaida in Iraq and a bombing cell in the area. The cell is known to operate in Tarmiyah and attack Iraqi civilians.

-- In a third Adhamiyah operation, troops captured two suspects, including a suspected propaganda expert for Kataib Hezbollah. During on-scene questioning, the man admitted to designing Web sites for the Iranian-backed group to publicize their missile attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces, military officials said.

-- Coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists in Abu Ghraib, about 12 miles west of Baghdad, for their alleged membership in a car-bombing cell that operates as far west as Fallujah, military officials said.

-- Coalition forces in Mosul detained a suspected associate of al-Qaida in Iraq’s financial infrastructure. Information from a July operation led troops to the suspect, who military officials believe has ties to al-Qaida in Iraq senior leaders.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained a suspected Iranian-backed “special groups” cell leader in the Rashid district of Baghdad. He is suspected of conducting roadside-bomb attacks against coalition forces, military officials said.

-- U.S. Army soldiers seized a weapons cache northwest of the Iraqi capital that contained a 130 mm projectile, an 82 mm mortar and a 1.5 pound block of chemical explosive.

In Iraq yesterday:

-- Coalition forces detained six suspected terrorists in Mosul while targeting a terrorist cell reportedly planning to poison Iraqi citizens and the security forces protecting them. The group is believed to be linked to a bombing network that operates in the Tigris River Valley, military officials said.

-- Troops detained a suspected special groups member who last week infiltrated the Iraqi police in eastern Baghdad. The suspect is accused of using a police vehicle to transport homemade explosives, conduct kidnappings, and disseminate information about Iraqi police and U.S. military operations to group members in the Iraqi capital, military official said.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers and Iraqi National Police discovered a weapons cache in Baghdad's Rashid district. Acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen, the soldiers seized a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, two RPG rounds, a machine gun and ammunition.

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

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