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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces in Iraq Continue to Disrupt Terrorist Networks

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2007 – Coalition forces captured two wanted individuals and detained another four suspects early this morning during operations to disrupt al Qaeda networks in central and northern Iraq, and military officials report numerous weapons caches discovered and suspects detained in operations over past several days.

-- In Baghdad, coalition forces captured a wanted individual reportedly attempting to re-establish the city's car-bombing operations after significant degradation by coalition forces. During several recent operations, coalition forces captured suspects with ties to the car-bombing network involved in attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces.

-- In an operation to disrupt foreign terrorist networks in Mosul, coalition forces captured a wanted individual believed to be a terrorist cell leader in the southern part of the city. The suspect is believed to have a long history of terrorist activity and is associated with several al Qaeda senior leaders.

-- Intelligence gained from previous operations led coalition forces north of Habbaniyah to a location believed to be an al Qaeda safe house and meeting place. During the operation, the ground forces were targeting an alleged associate of the al Qaeda senior leader. Reports indicate the targeted individual previously was responsible for finances and served under several terrorist leaders who fought coalition forces in Fallujah in 2004. Three suspected foreign terrorists were detained.

-- In another operation, coalition forces detained a suspected terrorist southwest of Kirkuk while targeting an associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq member believed to be the senior terrorist leader in the province. The targeted individual allegedly makes frequent trips across northern Iraq and has knowledge of al Qaeda operations in the province, including the whereabouts of foreign terrorists operating in the region. "This operation is another example of our continued success against al-Qaeda," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Their networks are being systematically dismantled by Iraqi and coalition forces, disrupting their operations, diminishing their pool of manpower and limiting their ability to attack innocent Iraqis."

In operations yesterday:

-- West of Balad, coalition forces captured a wanted individual believed to be a member of a foreign terrorist facilitation network that channels extremists into Iraq. Reports indicate the targeted individual is an associate of an al Qaeda senior leader operating outside of Iraq who is involved in facilitating terrorist funds and information into the country. During the operation, the suspect identified himself to the ground force and was detained without incident. In addition to the targeted individual, seven suspected terrorists were detained.

-- Farther north in Mosul, coalition forces targeted another member of a foreign terrorist facilitation network. Officials said intelligence reports indicate the targeted individual is associated with senior facilitators operating outside of the country, and reportedly is planning a meeting with the al Qaeda senior leader. Six suspected terrorists were detained.

-- During another operation north of Fallujah, coalition forces targeted a suspected associate of al Qaeda senior leaders and a building used as their safe house and meeting place. One suspect was detained.

-- Northwest of Khalis, coalition forces captured a senior militia extremist, killed two others and detained an additional 14 admitted criminals during operations in the village of Fawwaliyah. "We're continuing to target terrorists at every level," Danielson said. "Foreign terrorists who come to Iraq with the help of al Qaeda and commit murderous acts against the Iraq people have no place in the future of this country."

In operations earlier this week:

-- Southwest of Mosul on Oct. 26, coalition forces conducted an operation targeting a suspected terrorist believed to be responsible for logistical and security functions for al Qaeda. The suspect also reportedly was involved in efforts to procure weapons and manpower for attacks against coalition forces.

-- Coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists during an operation north of Fallujah targeting an al Qaeda senior leader Oct. 26. Intelligence reports indicated the target building is a suspected safe house and meeting place for numerous terrorist senior leaders. The suspects are brothers who allegedly have knowledge of terrorist leadership locations.

-- Acting on a tip, a group of Iraqi citizens located a suicide bomber who detonated himself upon discovery in Muqdadiya on Oct. 26. The bomber, who was believed to be targeting a populated area, detonated as soon as the group entered the house he was located in, causing it to collapse. The collapse wounded one citizen and a suspected extremist who was in the house with the suicide bomber. "(This) is a sure sign the population continues to grow tired of al Qaeda's barbaric acts," said Army Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of coalition forces in Diyala province. Citizens are playing active roles in securing their areas and neighborhoods across Diyala, he added, “an important sign that they realize they must be the definers of their own democracy."

-- Also on Oct. 26, paratroopers found a large cache of rockets in North Babil. The soldiers, from the 25th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), found a cache containing 27 Iranian-made 107 mm Katusha rockets during combat operations in Hilla. In addition to the rockets, two multiple-launch rocket systems capable of firing 20 rockets at a time, 11 launching rails, nine batteries, eight firing devices, timers, blasting caps and other equipment used to fire the rockets were also found. The rockets, launch platforms and other equipment were taken for investigation.

-- Iraqi police from the southern Ninevah province town of Qayyarah stopped a large car bomb explosion Oct. 25, before its driver had a chance to detonate it. Local police received a tip from a citizen about the suspected large fuel truck that was rigged. Moving in to investigate, they learned the driver had parked the device on the Qayyarah Bridge, told a local national on the ground that he was going to blow up the bridge, and then jumped off the bridge into the water below. Upon examination, the vehicle was found to contain about 50,000 pounds of unknown bulk explosive. "This is an incredible act of selflessness on the part of (Iraqi police Lt. Col.) Kahlid, moving into harm's way to prevent this (car bomb) from destroying the bridge and causing significant injuries and loss of life to those in the area," said Army Lt. Col. Robert McLaughlin, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. "His actions epitomize the quality and discipline that we are seeing examples of throughout the Iraqi security forces on a daily basis."

-- Coalition forces killed two terrorists and wounded another Oct. 25 in Mosul. Intelligence reports led the ground force to a location where an al Qaeda member responsible for terrorist activity in the city was believed to be living. Reports indicate the terrorist allegedly was involved in kidnappings and other terrorist attacks in the city and was an associate of the al Qaeda leader for northern Iraq. During the operation, men emerged from the target location and maneuvered toward the ground force. Perceiving hostile intent, coalition forces engaged and killed two men, , one of whom was the targeted individual. They also wounded another man, who evaded capture. “We continue to clear and hold areas where terrorists think they can hide,” Danielson said. “Nowhere in Iraq is al Qaeda safe from the Iraqi and coalition forces who seek to bring them to justice.”

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers, acting on tips from residents, found a large weapons cache and detained 13 insurgent suspects during ongoing operations in the Doura area of the Iraqi capital Oct. 25. Following a tip from Iraqi security volunteers, soldiers found four 82 mm mortars, 17 sticks of explosives, seven blocks of plastic explosives, 300 feet of detonation cord, 29 blasting caps, 28 grenade fuses, 725 assorted 7.62 mm rounds, eight rocket-propelled grenade ejection motors, two rocket fuses, six mortar fuses and 78 electric fuses.

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

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