WASHINGTON, August 1, 2006 – Iraqi and coalition forces captured and killed several terrorists and found multiple weapons caches over the past week, U.S. military officials reported today. Coalition forces captured five terrorist suspects without incident during raids in southwestern Baghdad yesterday. Grenades, a rifle, ammunition magazines, and an assault vest were found at the raid sites.
The suspects are alleged associates of a terrorist leader linked with attacks against Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and coalition troops. Reports indicate that the leader had been attempting to obtain rockets for a future attack, officials said. The raids are another example of how Iraqi and coalition forces continue to track down and capture or kill terrorists threatening the security and stability of Iraq. The operations will continue to be successful with the support and cooperation of the Iraqi people, officials said.
In a separate incident, Iraqi army and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained two terrorists and discovered bomb-making materials south of Baghdad on July 30. Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, reported a drive-by shooting at their checkpoint and returned fire, causing the terrorists to flee their vehicle on foot. A quick-reaction force from Company C, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, responded to the checkpoint and captured the two terrorists and seized various bomb-making materials from the vehicle.
Elsewhere, coalition forces captured a wanted terrorist and two of his associates during a raid southeast of Tikrit July 30. Among those captured was a regional al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist leader who reportedly controlled five al Qaeda cells. The cells are believed to be responsible for attacks on coalition forces in Tikrit and Dawr, officials said.
In addition, coalition forces detained two senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders and three other suspected terrorists during multiple raids in central and northern Iraq on July 29. A recent detainee provided information that led to the raids, officials said.
In another raid, Iraqi security forces detained a principal financial and logistical coordinator for al Qaeda in Iraq. He was also reportedly the leader of a terrorist cell responsible for kidnappings and makeshift-bomb attacks in Mosul, military officials said.
Troops discovered a large weapons cache, which included rocket propelled grenades, rocket propelled grenade launchers, explosives, small arms and ordnance, at another target site. The cache was destroyed on location and all suspects were detained without incident.
Finally, coalition forces announced they’ve turned over an al Qaeda in Iraq leader to the Iraqi government. The terrorist leader has admitted to conducting terrorist activity since 2004. The terrorist leader has held multiple leadership positions within al Qaeda. At one time, he coordinated and oversaw the operations of five different terrorist cells. He admitted to coordinating more than ten death squad attacks. Another of the groups he led coordinated kidnappings and large-scale bombings throughout Baghdad, officials said.
He was captured in a raid in western Baghdad that resulted from intelligence gathered during the successful targeting of former al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in early June. Iraqi and coalition officials will continue to work closely to ensure the terrorist receives due process through the Iraqi justice system, officials said.