American Forces Press Service
Aug. 21, 2008 - Coalition forces detained 15 suspected terrorists yesterday and today during continuing operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq's influence around the country, military officials reported. In Baghdad today, coalition forces captured a man assessed to be plotting an attack against a "Sons of Iraq" citizen security group that protects Iraqi civilians. He is suspected of associating with an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq cell leader captured July 2.
A suspected al-Qaida in Iraq leader was captured in Mosul with two additional suspects today. The wanted man allegedly coordinates car-bombing and indirect-fire attacks, and reportedly was behind the Oct. 22 attack on an Iraqi police station that killed five police officers. Another operation in Mosul targeting elements of the al-Qaida in Iraq financial network today netted four suspects.
About 90 kilometers south in Sharqat, coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists today, including an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq leader there. The alleged leader is believed to oversee an illegal terrorist court system that imposes extremist ideals on Iraqi civilians, officials said.
Coalition forces captured a wanted man today in Beiji, about 160 kilometers south of Mosul. The man reportedly is linked to several al-Qaida in Iraq leaders, and may have a leadership role in Kirkuk's terrorist network. Yesterday in Beiji, coalition forces detained three suspects who allegedly operate in the overlapping foreign terrorist networks and bombing cells in the Tigris River Valley. In a remote area near the Sinjar Mountains in northwest Iraq, coalition forces identified and destroyed an al-Qaida in Iraq hideout yesterday.
In other operations yesterday:
-- Iraqi National police and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized several weapons caches during operations to increase security throughout Baghdad. Iraqi police seized 10 60 mm mortar rounds, nine rocket-propelled boosters, a rocket-propelled grenade warhead and an anti-personnel grenade north of Baghdad.
-- Soldiers with Task Force 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, and Iraqi soldiers seized 76 120 mm mortars in Baghdad's Sadr City district.
-- During cache-clearance missions, northwest of Baghdad, soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division's Company C, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, seized a .30-caliber rifle, an anti-aircraft gun mount, seven .50-caliber machine guns, four 14.5 mm anti-aircraft rounds, an SKS assault rifle, four M86 Russian-manufactured light machine guns, five M86 barrels and two M240 barrels.
-- Iraqi soldiers confiscated weapons and detained two suspected criminal during a search in northwestern Baghdad. They seized 12 AK-47 assault rifles, two SKS semi-automatic weapons and an RPK light machine gun, and detained two suspected criminal. During a separate event in the northwestern Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliyah, Iraqi soldiers seized a fragmentation grenade and a Katyusha rocket during an area reconnaissance patrol.
-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained a highly sought-after suspect in southern Baghdad's Rashid district. Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, detained the suspect, an alleged leader of an Iranian-backed "special group" during a search in the Abu Tshir community. The suspect is believed to be a cell leader conducting roadside-bomb, indirect-fire and direct-fire attacks against Multinational Division Baghdad forces. The patrol delivered the suspect to a coalition base for processing.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)