American Forces Press Service
Oct. 19, 2007 - Coalition forces killed five terrorists and detained two suspects today during operations targeting al Qaeda networks throughout Iraq, military officials reported.
-- South of Tarmiyah, coalition forces conducted an operation targeting associates of an al Qaeda in Iraq network operating in the city. Intelligence reports indicate the network is known for car-bombing, improvised-explosive-device attacks and the facilitation of foreign terrorists. During the operation, surveillance elements observed a group of armed men move from the target building into nearby palm groves. As the ground force approached, the enemy opened fire from their defensive positions. Coalition forces returned fire and called for supporting aircraft to engage the armed men, killing four terrorists, one of whom was wearing a suicide vest. As the ground force secured the area, they also discovered a small weapons cache, which was safely destroyed on-site.
-- During an operation south of Baqouba, coalition forces targeted and killed an al Qaeda in Iraq IED cell leader. Reports indicate he led a group of about 250 terrorists that emplaced IEDs and conducted attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. As the ground force cleared the target building, the soldiers discovered a woman in a room and directed her to get down. The ground force was then engaged by an armed man, and they returned fire and killed the terrorist, who was the targeted individual. The woman was not harmed, and one suspect was detained.
-- Coalition forces detained a suspected terrorist north of Beiji during an operation to further disrupt al Qaeda in Iraq. Intelligence gained from a previous operation led the ground force to the target area. Coalition forces captured an individual allegedly involved in the facilitation of foreign terrorists, false documentation and terrorist funds, and who is believed to have ties to Syrian-based extremists attempting to communicate with the al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
"Our operations are dismantling al Qaeda in Iraq piece by piece," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We will continue to take the fight to these terrorists so Iraqis can live in a safe and stable environment."
Yesterday, Iraqi security forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained two IED makers and facilitators in Anbar and New Baghdad.
Iraqi special forces detained a known IED maker and facilitator in the Furat area who allegedly is an extremist company commander directly responsible for a July 7 explosive-formed penetrator attack on coalition forces. He is also thought to be involved in a Jan. 11 kidnapping and torture of more than 15 Iraqi Sunni citizens in New Baghdad.
In Hit, Iraqi security forces detained another IED maker and facilitator allegedly responsible for a car bomb attack on an Iraqi police officer. Two other suspected insurgents, one identified as the facilitator's brother, were detained during the raid.
In Iraq operations Oct. 17:
-- Paratroopers from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, captured six members, including two lieutenants, of an IED cell responsible for attacks against Iraqi security and coalition forces in North Babil.
-- Soldiers from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment, attached to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, discovered more than 100 copper disks used to construct deadly explosively formed penetrators east of Haswah during a follow-on mission to Operation Seven Mountains. During Operation Seven Mountains, the soldiers captured a militant suspected of constructing and planting EFPs in North Babil on Oct. 16. They also discovered EFPs, homemade explosives, and blocks of C4 explosive hidden in a drainage ditch and canal.
-- Two Iraqi leaders oversaw the release of more than 350 detainees during a ceremony with a message of national reconciliation and rejuvenation. Iraqi Vice President Adel Abd al-Mahdi and Chief of Anbar Awakening Council Ahmad Abu Reesha greeted the Iraqi people on the occasion of Eid El Fitr while addressing and congratulating the detainees on their release. About half the detainees were released yesterday, while the remaining half will be released within the next several days.
In Iraq Oct. 16, soldiers from Company D, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, acting on a tip, discovered two houses used as makeshift prisons and released five local citizens who were held for ransom in the village of Buhriz in Baqouba.
A leader from a local concerned local citizens group provided tips leading soldiers to conduct the search operation, which also netted two weapons caches and led to the detention of six Iraqi men, acting as guards for the prisons, in addition to the discovery and release of five hostages.
The five released hostages were transferred to Forward Operating Base Warhorse, north of Baqouba, for medical treatment.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)