Forces Capture Suspected Terrorists, Discover Weapons Caches
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2008 Coalition forces continued efforts to disrupt al-Qaida in Iraq car bomb networks, capturing eight suspected terrorists during operations today and yesterday in central Iraq, military officials said.
Forces operating in Baghdad Thursday night captured a wanted man believed to be associated with one of the city's terrorist car bomb cells. He and another suspect were detained without incident during the operation, officials said.
Coalition forces also took aim at terrorist car bomb networks during two related operations today outside of Fallujah, about 35 miles west of Baghdad, officials said.
During the first operation, forces captured a wanted man who intelligence reports suggest is a car bomb facilitator in Fallujah with multiple connections to other facilitators throughout the region. Two men believed to be associates of the wanted man were also detained for questioning, they said.
During a subsequent operation in the area, forces nabbed another wanted man believed to be associated with area car bomb networks. The man, who is also assessed to be an Al-Qaida weapons facilitator, was detained with two other suspected terrorists.
Additional terrorists were captured during other recent operations in Iraq:
- Coalition troops detained five suspected members of Iranian-based terrorist groups yesterday in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. The soldiers were with the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 7th Squadron.
- On Wednesday in Tikrit, Salah ad Din Special Weapons and Tactics captured a suspected terrorist cell leader. The cell leader is believed to be responsible for emplacing improvised explosive devices, torturing innocent civilians to death, and providing early warning to insurgents regarding coalition and Iraqi forces operations.
- In an operation Tuesday in western Mosul, Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured four suspected terrorist cell members operating in the Hay Al Tinek neighborhood. The cell members are believed to be responsible for conducting assassinations, kidnappings for ransom, and IED attacks.
- During a separate operation Tuesday, Iraqi soldiers captured three suspected Al-Qaida terrorists in eastern Mosul responsible for IED and vehicle-borne IED attacks. One man is believed to have conducted more than 12 attacks since July.
- Coalition soldiers captured an Iranian-based terrorist group member yesterday in the Aamel community of southern Baghdad.
- U.S. soldiers arrested two suspected terrorists Wednesday and Thursday while conducting early morning raids in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad.
At about 3 a.m. Wednesday, soldiers from 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, detained a suspected criminal in connection with a car bomb attack on Oct. 10 in the Abu T'shir community.
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. detained a suspected special group criminal Thursday at about 2 a.m. in the Aamel community. The patrol returned to a combat outpost with the suspect wanted for weapons trafficking.
In other reports out of Iraq, a local citizen led coalition troops yesterday to a cache of over 5,000 pounds of munitions in the town of al-Harij in northern Babil province, officials said.
Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team uncovered the buried cache that contained 34 bags of home-made explosives weighing 154 pounds each, more than 500 cylinders of explosives, 30 RPG rounds, 100 mortar rounds, two 5-pound bags of explosives, 23 hand grenades, two 80-mm mortars, two 4-foot rockets, four 60-mm rounds, four mortar sights, three anti-personnel grenade rounds, one bag of loose AK-47 rounds, 15 magazines for 7.62-caliber rounds as well a other bomb-making materials, they said.
An explosive ordnance disposal team rendered the cache items safe for removal, officials said.
Lt. Col. Timothy Newsome, commander of the 3rd Battalion, credited the coalition’s improved relationships with Iraqis in allowing them to make such finds.
"Though we have a relatively peaceful and stable environment in the Jurf As Sakhr region, the astounding size of this cache, the variety of munitions that are in it and the indicators that it is a relatively new cache all serve to demonstrate the very tenuous nature of the hard fought peace that is currently in place," Newsome said. "Discoveries of this magnitude would not be possible without the close working relationships we have fostered over the past 11 months with the honest, hard-working citizens of the region."
In other weapons seizures this week:
- U.S. troops seized bomb-making materials yesterday during a security patrol in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. Responding to a citizen’s tip, soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team patrolled the Aamel community and seized 27 copper plates suspected to be used for explosively formed projectiles. An explosives ordnance disposal team responded to handle the bomb-making materials.
- Coalition troops secured a weapons cache Wednesday just west of Suwayrah. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade received a tip from an Iraqi citizen of the location of the cache which included seven copper discs and PVC cases used to manufacture explosively-formed penetrators, four rocket-propelled grenades, four blocks of C4, two 120 mm mortar rounds and one 60 mm mortar round.
- The Muthanna Province's Iraqi Police were tipped off about a weapon cache near al Khidr, a town southwest of Samawah, Tuesday and found 1,100 pounds of TNT dynamite in a concrete plant. The police also discovered 110 fuses at the site.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)