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American Forces Press Service

Forces Arrest Suspected Terrorist Leaders in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2009 – Iraqi forces arrested several suspected terrorist leaders in Iraq in recent days, military officials reported.

Iraqi constables with the 5th Emergency Response Battalion arrested a suspected leader of an al-Qaida terrorist cell in Ninevah province Oct. 3.

The constables arrested Hajji Ali al-Tikriti for allegedly coordinating multiple attacks against Iraqi security forces and civilians, smuggling weapons throughout northern Iraq and for extorting civilians in the province. He also is suspected of being a key influencer and contributor in numerous vehicle and roadside bomb attacks throughout Mosul, and is believed to be the military mind behind a terrorist cell in Mosul.

The constables conducted the arrest under the authority of a warrant issued by the Superior Judiciary Council of the Riyad Central Investigative Court.

Meanwhile, Iraqi constables with the 6th Emergency Response Battalion arrested Ghassan Adnan Hamza, a suspected terrorist cell leader associated with Jaysh al-Mahdi, an Iraqi paramilitary force, during an operation in Diyala province Sept. 27.

The man was arrested with a warrant issued by the High Judicial Council Appellate Court of Diyala for suspicion of murdering several civilians throughout northern Iraq, attacks against Iraqi security forces, laundering money and for setting up multiple terrorist cells aimed at destabilizing Iraq.

Elsewhere, Iraqi security forces captured six suspects involved in terrorist acts conducted in and around Kirkuk, Mosul and Baghdad in separate security operations Oct. 3.

Near Tuz Khurmatu, southwest of Kirkuk, the 3rd Emergency Services Unit, with U.S. forces advisors, arrested a suspect believed to be involved in an assassination and kidnapping ring that operates in and around Kirkuk. The man also is suspected of helping to build the vehicle-borne bomb that destroyed a mosque and killed several Iraqi civilians in Taza on June 20. The force arrested an additional suspect during the search after police determined that he may pose a threat to the local community.

In a separate operation, the 3rd General Directorate Salahuddin Police Unit, with U.S. forces advisors, arrested two suspects during a search in Qara Tapa for an al-Qaida in Iraq mortar cell leader who operates throughout Diyala province. The suspects were questioned and determined to have connections to al-Qaida operations in Qara Tapa, southeast of Kirkuk.

In northern Mosul, Iraqi soldiers, with U.S. forces advisors, arrested a suspect during a search of two buildings for an al-Qaida in Iraq member believed to be responsible for multiple vehicle-borne bomb attacks throughout the northern Iraq city.

In northern Baghdad, Iraqi soldiers and U.S. advisors searched a building known to be used by the terrorist group Khataib Hizballah. During this operation, the security team encountered a suspicious person, who was arrested without incident.

Elsewhere, Iraqi police and U.S. and Iraqi soldiers arrested eight people Sept. 30 wanted on warrants for homemade bomb attacks against security forces in Kirkuk. One of the detainees is suspected of involvement with a bomb attack Sept. 8 that killed four and wounded two Iraqi police officers outside Kirkuk city.

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

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