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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces Continue to Target Terror Network Members

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2008 – Coalition forces in Iraq apprehended an alleged key member of the Kataib Hezbollah network and two other suspects during an operation early today in Baghdad's Adhamiyah district.

Officials believe Kataib Hezbollah is a surrogate group for the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Acting on intelligence information, coalition forces targeted an alleged Kataib Hezbollah bombing cell leader believed to be responsible for recent attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces and Iraqi citizens. Coalition forces approached a residence in search of the suspected terrorist. The wanted man identified himself to forces, and was apprehended without incident, along with two other suspected Kataib Hezbollah network members.

During the search, a fire accidently started as forces entered one of the houses. Iraqi and coalition firefighters responded, extinguished the fire, and evacuated nearby residents for their safety.

No one was injured in the fire, and coalition forces are working with the homeowner to conduct a damage assessment to the home and make appropriate compensation for the damage caused by the fire, officials said.

In other operations today:

-- Coalition and Iraqi forces in Jaykanah, about 100 miles northeast of Baghdad, captured an alleged courier believed to have ties to al-Qaida leaders in northern Iraq. Three additional suspects believed to be associates of the wanted man were detained for further questioning.

-- Al-Qaida communication networks also were disrupted today in Sadiyah, about 11 miles northeast of Baghdad, where forces detained a suspect believed to be associated with a Diyala area al-Qaida courier.

-- Two wanted men were captured near Karmah, about 25 miles west of Baghdad. Reports suggest the two suspected terrorists are linked to al-Qaida supply and facilitation networks in Iraq’s Anbar province.

-- Another wanted man was captured in Baghdad as coalition forces continued to pressure al-Qaida bombing networks. Reports suggest the suspected terrorist is involved in suicide-bomber and homemade-bomb attacks in the city, officials said. He surrendered himself to coalition forces during the operation. Three others determined to be his associates also were detained.

-- Forces detained two suspects in Mosul during an operation targeting al-Qaida foreign-terrorist and suicide-bomber networks.

In Dec. 6 operations:

-- Forces detained a suspect during an operation targeting roadside-bomb facilitator in Sharqat, about 160 miles south of Mosul.

-- Members of the local “Sons of Iraq” citizen security group and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers recovered an AK-47 assault rifle and magazines north of Baghdad.

-- A tip led soldiers to a weapons cache north of Baghdad that included 57 mm mortars, 60 mm mortars and an anti-personnel mine.

-- Iraqi police, along with coalition soldiers, followed up on a tip from a citizen and seized a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and RPG warheads in Risalah.

-- U.S. soldiers detained a man suspected of transporting rockets into northwestern Baghdad’s Ameriyah district.

-- U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police detained a suspected criminal based on an arrest warrant issued by Iraqi authorities.

-- Coalition forces captured a suspected terrorist in Mosul. He was believed to coordinate the movement of foreign terrorists in western Anbar province and the northern Jazeera Desert. Three other men wanted in connection with the facilitation network were discovered at the residence. All four wanted men and an additional suspect were detained without incident.

-- An operation in Beiji netted a suspect believed to be associated with a local al-Qaida leader. Two AK-47 assault rifles were found buried in the courtyard of the home, where the suspect was detained.

-- A wanted man was captured during an operation in Baghdad. Reports suggest the suspected terrorist is a leader in al-Qaida’s Baghdad network and facilitates bombing operations in the city.

-- Coalition forces captured a wanted man believed to have ties to terrorist leadership in the region and an additional suspect believed to be his associate. Forces also recovered three pistols and an AK-47.

-- A suspected terrorist believed to be associated with anti-coalition activities in Anbar province was captured in Hit. The suspected terrorist, who officials said may have links to al-Qaida, surrendered himself to the ground force without incident. A man determined to be an associate of the wanted man also was detained.

-- U.S. soldiers detained a suspected Iranian-backed criminal group cell leader in the Aamel community. The individual is believed to be responsible for facilitating attacks against coalition and Iraqi security forces. He also is alleged to be responsible for rocket attacks against local citizens and crimes of extortion. An additional individual was detained for questioning.

-- Iraqi soldiers discovered a 107 mm rocket, assault rifles and a machine gun during a routine security patrol in the Jihad community.

In Dec. 5 operations:

-- Coalition forces targeted an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq bomb facilitator in Sharqat, south of Mosul. The assault force stopped a vehicle associated with the wanted man. The driver initially complied with the assault force's orders to stop, but then began to move again. Perceiving hostile intent, forces engaged the vehicle and stopped it. The assault force detained one of the passengers for further questioning.

-- Forces in Mosul captured a suspected suicide-bomber facilitator. The wanted man, who was detained with an additional suspect, was believed to be coordinating with a potential suicide bomber at the time of his capture. The suspected terrorist also is believed to be involved in al-Qaida’s foreign-terrorist facilitation networks, officials said.

-- Forces in Beiji detained a suspect during an operation targeting an al-Qaida leader in the city. Reports suggest the wanted man and his associates were planning an attack in the area and had been gathering a weapons cache. The assault force was led to three suspected cache sites south of Beiji, where they found 155 mm artillery rounds, ammunition rounds, bags of detonation cord, a mortar, mortar rounds and rockets. The materials were safely destroyed.

-- Coalition forces captured a suspected terrorist allegedly linked to al-Qaida in Iraq leadership.

-- During an operation in Hit, forces captured a wanted man believed to be associated with regional al-Qaida leaders. Another man was detained for further questioning.

-- Responding to a tip, U.S. soldiers detained a man suspected of coordinating weapons trafficking in southern Baghdad’s Abu Tshir community.

-- Iraqi National Police discovered a roadside bomb consisting of an 82 mm mortar round and TNT in Rashid's Jazair community. The police contacted U.S. soldiers, who contacted a coalition explosives ordnance disposal unit to handle the bomb.

-- U.S. soldiers reported finding rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds in Abu Tshir.

-- Patrolling in the Aamel community of southern Baghdad, U.S. soldiers discovered a 60 mm mortar round in an abandoned building.

-- Iraqi National Police discovered rocket-propelled grenades with motors, rocket-propelled grenades without motors and 57 mm projectiles in the Ghartan community. U.S. soldiers verified the contents, which the police officers moved to their headquarters and turned over to an explosives disposal team for disposal.

-- U.S. soldiers found an assault rifle and four full magazines north of Baghdad.

-- A tip led U.S. soldiers to two RPG warheads in Baghdad’s Rashid district.

-- In western Rashid, U.S. soldiers found a 60 mm mortar round in an abandoned building.

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

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