American Forces Press Service
Jan. 25, 2008 - Coalition troops in Iraq captured seven suspected terrorists during operations today in Baghdad and Beiji, military officials said. In Baghdad, coalition forces captured a wanted individual allegedly involved in the facilitation of weapons, improvised-explosive-device materials, vehicles, and suicide bombers for use in al Qaeda in Iraq attacks. Reports indicate the suspect also is linked to foreign terrorist-facilitation networks, including several terrorists currently operating outside of Iraq.
In Beiji, coalition forces captured two wanted individuals and four additional suspects. One of the wanted individuals reportedly is a leader of an al Qaeda-affiliated media and propaganda network. The other wanted individual was captured at a follow-on location and is believed to be an al Qaeda sniper-cell leader. Both wanted individuals are linked to numerous terrorist leaders in the region, including the senior leader of the Beiji network.
During another anti-insurgent operation in the Beiji area, two suspected terrorists were detained while coalition forces targeted an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq member associated with terrorist media and propaganda operations.
Also today, coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists during an operation in Mosul.
Yesterday, northeast of Samarra near the Hamrin Mountains, coalition forces targeted a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq associate who allegedly serves as an interrogator at a terrorist prison and training camp in the region. Reports indicate the individual facilitates weapons purchases and fighter movements in the area.
Intelligence reports led coalition forces to a location where the targeted individual was believed to be operating and they engaged, killing one armed terrorist and destroying a vehicle.
Also yesterday, coalition forces captured five suspected insurgents near Baghdad. One detainee is believed to be an al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader. Reports indicate the suspected terrorist was responsible for an Oct. 30 car-bomb attack that targeted a coalition forces patrol. The detainee also is linked to trafficking weapons throughout the southern Baghdad region and reportedly was planning an attack in the capital city area. Four other suspected terrorists also were captured during the operation. Coalition forces also captured two wanted individuals yesterday in Mosul.
"We will continue to pursue al Qaeda in Iraq and other extremists wherever they take sanctuary," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Their indiscriminate attacks and oppressive practices will not be tolerated, and we stand committed with Iraqi security forces to end their campaign of terror."
In Jan. 21 Iraq operations:
-- Coalition troops and concerned local citizens discovered and destroyed 30 improvised explosive devices and some weapons caches during operations conducted south and southeast of Baghdad. Among the IEDs found, 16 were pressure-plate activated, seven were command-wire activated, one was an explosively formed projectile, or EFP, and one consisted of various explosives. Eleven weapons caches were found. One cache contained 20 IEDs, plus 83 57 mm rounds and 70 60 mm rounds. Additional caches contained various munitions ranging from 57 mm rounds to 125 mm artillery rounds as well as IED-making materials.
-- An Iraqi special weapons and tactics team from Haditha captured four suspected terrorists in Barwanah during the unit's first solo operation. The Iraqi SWAT team had participated in four other operations accompanied by U.S. special operations troops as advisors.
In other Iraq news, Iraqi and U.S. soldiers announced they'd cleared a key travel route between Baghdad and Baqouba of IEDs during operations this month as part of Operation Phantom Phoenix. The area of the road between Khan Bani Saad and Baqouba had been so heavily covered in IEDs that vehicles had to take other routes to travel between Baghdad and Baqouba, officials said.
"This was a hugely successful brigade-level operation planned and led by the Iraqi army," said Army Lt. Col. Marshall Dougherty, a U.S. commander who participated in the operation. "The (Iraqi) commander laid out his plan and asked us to provide assets to support his effort such as helicopters, close-air support and artillery."
Coalition and Iraqi forces also killed an estimated 41 al Qaeda in Iraq operatives. In addition, Iraqi and U.S. troops found and cleared 12 booby-trapped houses and 11 car bombs, found six weapons caches, and detained nine suspected al Qaeda operatives.
On Jan. 20, U.S. soldiers liberated two local Iraqis who had been kidnapped and tortured for 11 days. Ongoing operations in the area include clearing roadside bombs, repair of the highway and the standing up of concerned local citizens' groups.
"This is another example of the Iraqi army increasing their capacity and taking the lead in making their country safer," Dougherty said.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)