Coalition disrupts al-Qaeda in central Iraq; eight terrorists killed, 12 detained

By None , MNFI


BAGHDAD, Iraq (Feb. 8, 2008) – Coalition forces killed eight terrorists and detained 12 suspects Thursday and today during operations to disrupt al-Qaeda networks operating in central Iraq. 

East of Samarra Thursday and today, Coalition forces conducted coordinated operations targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader of the network in the city and his associates. Coalition forces observed numerous personnel at a known al-Qaeda in Iraq meeting location and followed the suspects to two separate areas, killing one armed terrorist who displayed hostile intent. 

Nearby Coalition forces followed two other individuals in a vehicle and observed them reaching for weapons. Perceiving hostile intent, a supporting aircraft engaged, killing two terrorists. Following the strike, numerous secondary explosions erupted from the vehicle, indicating weapons were stored inside. Coalition forces went back to the area today and detained three suspected terrorists for their alleged association to the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader.  

Further east, near the Hamrin Mountains Thursday, two suspects were detained while targeting an associate of the al-Qaeda in Iraq network responsible for operating an al-Qaeda in Iraq prison and training camp in the region. The targeted individual is allegedly associated with the suspect detained Jan. 28 for his role as an interrogator at the prison (see MNF-I press release A080128b, “Coalition forces target al-Qaeda in central Iraq; 18 suspects detained,” dated Jan. 28, 2008). 

In Baqubah today, Coalition forces targeted an associate of the al-Qaeda in Iraq leadership responsible for the suicide network operating in Diyala, Baghdad, Mosul and other areas of Iraq. As the ground force arrived in the area, they called for a target building’s occupants to come out. Coalition forces then engaged four terrorists in the building and killed them. 

A young woman and girl, who had complied with instructions and exited the building, told the ground force that a man remained inside. As Coalition forces assaulted the building they observed it explode. After the area was secure, the ground force assessed the man had detonated explosive materials inside, killing himself and destroying the building. An Iraqi civilian in the area confirmed the terrorist killed inside the building was the targeted individual. 

During operations in Baghdad today, Coalition forces captured three wanted individuals reportedly involved in the al-Qaeda in Iraq media and propaganda network. The suspects include an alleged senior leader operating in the terrorist network in Baghdad; one of his subordinates, who is reportedly responsible for facilitating the movement of media network members; and an alleged leader in the Mosul based media network. All of the suspected terrorists are reportedly close contacts of senior leaders within the media network, who have direct ties to the al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri. In addition to the wanted individuals, the ground force detained four suspected terrorists during the operations.  

“Iraqi and Coalition forces remain resolved to bring the terrorists to justice, ending their campaign of indiscriminate violence against the Iraqi people,” said Lt. Michael Street, MNF-I spokesman.