American Forces Press Service
March 8, 2010 - Iraqi police arrested three suspected terrorists yesterday during a combined security operation targeting a man believed to be assisting al-Qaida in Iraq in planning and carrying out attacks to deter voters from participating in national elections.
The operation was conducted in accordance with the U.S.-Iraq security agreement and in coordination with the Iraqi government, officials said.
Iraqi police and U.S. advisors searched a building in a rural area in northern Iraq with an arrest warrant for a suspected terrorist leader. Information and evidence gathered during the operation led police to arrest three suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.
In operations March 5, Iraqi forces arrested 10 suspected terrorists during combined security operations in central and northern Iraq targeting al-Qaida in Iraq attack cells prior to yesterday's elections.
In Beiji, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched several buildings for a suspected terrorist believed to have carried out multiple bombing attacks within the region. The team discovered weapons, numerous rounds of ammunition and bomb-making materials.
After preliminary questioning and an initial examination of evidence, Iraqi police arrested five suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.
During a separate security operation conducted southwest of Baghdad, forces searched several buildings for a suspected explosives-cell member. The wanted man allegedly has staged attacks in and around Baghdad in addition to having planned coordinated car bomb attacks against the Iraqi government ahead of the elections.
Information gathered during the operation led forces to arrest the wanted man and four suspected criminal associates.
In operations March 5:
-- Iraqi forces with U.S. advisors arrested a suspected terrorist cell leader in Ninevah province. The man is suspected to be a member of a cell responsible for car-bomb attacks on Iraqi citizens throughout the province. Intelligence reports indicated the cell was targeting the Iraqi national elections.
-- Iraqi forces with U.S. advisors arrested a suspected terrorist cell leader in Kirkuk. The man is suspected to be a key financier and facilitator in the area. Security forces believe the man obtains funding from outside of the country and then smuggles the funds into Iraq to sustain operations. He also is accused of smuggling weapons into the area from Baghdad. Intelligence reports indicate the man is connected to al-Qaida in Iraq cells responsible for car bomb attacks.
(Compiled from U.S. Forces Iraq news releases.)