American Forces Press Service
Aug. 23, 2007 - Coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained 10 suspected terrorists today during operations around Iraq targeting al Qaeda weapons and leadership networks. During an operation north of Baqubah, coalition forces captured an alleged al Qaeda cell leader and two other suspected terrorists.
Intelligence reports indicate the cell leader was a terrorist weapons facilitator and had been watching a coalition forces base, possibly to plan an attack. During the operation, the ground forces observed a man maneuvering around them and passing information about the assault force to additional enemy elements. Coalition forces engaged and killed the man.
Today in Bayji, forces captured two targeted individuals and detained two other suspected terrorists during coordinated raids. One of the suspects is an alleged safe house operator and meeting coordinator for senior leaders of al Qaeda. Another suspect is believed to be second in command to the al Qaeda emir of Bayji, who is linked to several attacks against coalition forces.
In Mosul, coalition forces conducted a precision raid looking for an al Qaeda improvised-explosive-device facilitator, who is believed to receive, store and assemble IEDs at his home. The ground forces detained one suspected terrorist. Coalition forces also detained one suspected terrorist during a raid on a farm complex north of Muqdadiyah targeting members of an al Qaeda anti-aircraft cell.
"Our operations continue to target terrorist leaders and their resources," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We are on the offensive to keep al Qaeda from making headline-grabbing attacks against the Iraqi people."
In other operations this week:
-- Iraqi army scouts with U.S. Special Forces advisors conducted a helicopter assault in western Iraq yesterday, resulting in the elimination of a suspected weapons cache and the destruction of an insurgent safe house. While clearing the targeted building, the assault team noticed that the floor in the main room of the structure had recently been dug up and fresh concrete covered the floor, with wire leading out of the house. Further investigation revealed the presence of a command-detonation wire, and the area was immediately evacuated. Close-air support destroyed the target, and multiple secondary explosions indicated the presence of munitions. Intelligence sources reported that the former safe house was being occupied by foreign and Iraqi-born al Qaeda members. It was also a suspected storage location for weapons caches and believed to be the point of origin for launching mortars at the Iraqi police station in Karmah.
-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers conducted two raids at a pair of abandoned homes containing IED-making materials in the western Khadra neighborhood yesterday. A tip from residents led soldiers to a house containing 60 pounds of fertilizer and 200 feet of detonation cord. As the soldiers continued searching the area, they found a second abandoned cache site containing 50 pounds of homemade explosive materials and three gallons of nitric acid. An explosive ordnance disposal team detonated the explosives and other bomb-making materials.
-- Soldiers from 4th Iraqi Army Division with U.S. Special Forces advisors on Aug. 20 detained a man suspected of money laundering in Bayji. The suspected terrorist is believed to be responsible for smuggling money in exchange for weapons, explosives and men, which the al Qaeda terrorist network then uses for attacks against innocent civilians and coalition forces. Ledgers, a large sum of Iraqi and U.S. money, money counting machines, a 9 mm pistol and various types of ammunition were confiscated for further analysis.
-- Iraqi security forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors detained a high-level terrorist during an operation in Mosul on Aug. 20. Intelligence indicates the targeted individual was believed to be in charge of security for a Mosul-based organization established as a front for al Qaeda, using kidnapping and executions to enforce his security actions. He also reportedly interrogated kidnapping victims for extortion and executed them. One other suspicious individual was detained during the operation. The forces also seized a variety of military equipment and documents at the targeted residence.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)