Coalition Captures Iranian-Backed Terrorism Suspects
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2008 Coalition troops in Iraq today captured a suspected financer and four others associated with an Iranian-backed terrorist group believed to be responsible for bombings, military officials said.
Acting on intelligence information, coalition forces this morning targeted the suspected Kataib Hezbollah facilitator during an operation in Amarah in Iraq’s Maysan province, which borders Iran.
Kataib Hezbollah, also known as Hezbollah Brigades, is a terrorist group believed to receive funding, training, logistics and material support from Iran to attack Iraqi and coalition forces using what the military calls “explosively formed penetrators,” or EFPs – roadside bombs designed to pierce armor-hulled vehicles – and other weapons such as rocket-assisted mortars. The group is believed to be responsible for a June 4 explosion in the Shaab district of Adhamiyah in Baghdad that killed 16 Iraqi civilians and injured 29 others, officials said.
The suspect and his associates were detained without incident. During their search, troops discovered more than $50,000 in U.S. currency and nearly 12 million Iraqi dinar, the equivalent of about $10,000, officials said.
It was the second blow to the leadership of terrorist networks in Iraq in two days, officials said. Yesterday, coalition forces captured a suspected terrorist and an additional suspect during an operation near Tikrit, about 100 miles north of Baghdad, they said. During that operation, the suspect surrendered to coalition forces and identified himself as the wanted man believed to be an al-Qaida in Iraq cell leader in the area.
On Oct. 27, coalition troops captured six men suspected of working with Iranian-backed terrorist groups in eastern Baghdad, officials said. Based on a resident’s tip, soldiers assigned to the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, detained the men, who a witness identified as terrorists known to Iraqi security forces.
During the operation, troops also seized five AK-47 assault rifles with 32 magazines, a 9 mm pistol with three magazines, a shotgun and 60 shotgun shells, an SKS rifle, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, a fragmentation grenade, a scope and nine magazines for a Dragonov rifle and 3,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition.
In other news from Iraq, coalition and Iraqi security forces yesterday seized several illegal weapons caches in and around Baghdad. The seizures were based on residents’ tips and included Iraqi soldiers and national police as well as the 25th Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Brigade, 4th Brigade Combat Team.
The seizures included two 60 mm mortar base plates, three 60 mm high explosive mortar rounds, three 81 mm high-explosive mortar rounds, four rocket-propelled grenade launchers, five RPG warheads, three RPG fuse assemblies and hundreds of rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition. In what was believed to be a bomb-making factory, they found 160 blocks of C4 explosives, 34 complete EFPs, 53 copper plates, 40 shaped plates for EFPs, three presses and a punch and 14 107 mm rockets.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)