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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Operations in Iraq Disrupt al Qaeda

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2007 – Coalition forces disrupted al Qaeda operations in Iraq with a series of raids today, killing a terrorist leader and detaining more than 25 other individuals suspected of being al Qaeda members and associates.

Coalition forces killed the military emir of Tarmiyah, who officials said was responsible for directing attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi civilians in the area, and another armed man.

When ground forces conducting the raid moved toward the target building, they saw an armed man in a neighboring house maneuvering into position to engage the assault force. Responding in defense against the hostile threat, coalition forces killed him. Another armed man moved to the roof of the target building, and coalition forces also killed him. The terrorist on the roof was determined to be the terrorist emir targeted in the operation. Ground forces detained 11 individuals with suspected ties to al Qaeda as part of that operation.

"We will continue to dismantle the terrorist networks that threaten the security of Iraq," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "The people of Iraq continue to demonstrate their desire to build a secure future, without the influence of al Qaeda in Iraq."

In other operations today:

-- In Baqubah, troops captured a man who is believed to have conducted operations to incite sectarian violence, provide weapons to al Qaeda and attack coalition forces. Ground forces detained nine additional suspects with alleged ties to the terrorist network.

-- In Mosul, coalition forces captured an alleged al Qaeda leader who is believed to have provided financial support to al Qaeda, to have facilitated the movement of foreign terrorists and to have controlled terrorist operations in an area south of the Baghdad airport. Coalition forces detained seven of his suspected associates as well.

-- Near Samarra, coalition forces detained a suspected senior terrorist facilitator and another individual during two coordinated raids. In another raid, intelligence reports indicated a senior leader of al Qaeda was hiding in a nearby mosque, which was still under construction. Coalition forces entered the mosque without using force and took great care in securing the building. One individual in an adjacent building was detained for his suspected association with the targeted al Qaeda leader. "We respect religious holy sites and use precision operations to target terrorists who disregard the sanctity of those sites," Garver said. "Al Qaeda in Iraq is not able to hide from us; we will find its terrorists wherever they are."

-- Coalition forces captured an individual believed to be a former terrorist emir from the Baghdad area allegedly working with senior al Qaeda leaders to strengthen terrorist control in Bayji. The ground forces detained four additional suspects for their alleged involvement in Bayji's al Qaeda network.

In operations yesterday:

-- In Muelha, Iraqi security forces with U.S. special operations forces as advisors, detained five suspected al Qaeda terrorists in an operation. Reports indicate the suspected terrorists belong to a cell of more than 100 men suspected of attacking coalition and Iraqi forces in the village south of Baghdad. Additional intelligence shows the cell members conducted these indirect and direct fire attacks with improvised explosive devices, mortars and car bombs.

-- Iraqi army forces conducted an intelligence-driven helicopter assault raid detaining 11 suspected insurgents west of Taji. Scouts raided a series of targets and detained the primary suspect, who is believed to be an al Qaeda in Iraq member involved in supporting a sniper cell operating within the Karmah area. After detaining six additional suspects, the soldiers discovered that some men had fled from one of the targeted locations into a nearby mosque. U.S. special operations forces provided external security while Iraqi forces searched the mosque and detained four more suspected insurgents. Five AK-47 assault rifles, numerous identification cards and a rifle scope were seized. Five rocket-propelled grenades, two high-explosive hand grenades, fuses and several containers of homemade explosives were destroyed on site by a controlled detonation.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad attack helicopter crews destroyed an insurgent vehicle in south Baghdad. The Apache crews from the 227th Aviation Regiment responded to a call to engage the vehicle, which was abandoned by the insurgents as the helicopters approached.

In other operations this week:

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers found a house rigged to explode during clearing operations in the Rashid District of the Iraqi capital Aug. 28. Terrorists have been known to demolish homes with explosives to scare residents into moving. Soldiers attached to the 1st Infantry Division who responded to the report from joint security station Doura found two sticks of TNT and safely detonated them.

-- Soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division found an intact explosivelyformed penetrator device, five rocket-propelled grenades, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers and a machine gun with 500 rounds on Aug. 28. While cordoning the area off, the troops began taking small-arms fire and killed one insurgent and wounded another as they engaged the enemy.

-- Coalition forces, acting on a tip from a local concerned citizen, discovered a large cache of nitric acid buried in drums near the town of Niam Mashawn on Aug. 28. Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division found the cache site on a road about 15 kilometers west of Baghdad International Airport. The man who reported the cache helped the soldiers dig up 411 plastic jugs of nitric acid that were removed to a secure location. Nitric acid often is used in making fertilizer and homemade explosives, and commonly is found in improvised explosive devices.

-- On Aug. 27, in Baghdad, troops from the 23rd Infantry Regiment found a set of body armor, U.S. Marine utility uniforms, a coalition forces certificate of achievement, an infrared strobe and various identification cards and passports. The contraband was taken to a coalition forces facility for further investigation.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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