Leading al-Qaeda figure in Salaheddine killed

Iraq police escort suspects this past January in Basra. [Atef Hassan/Reuters]

Iraq police escort suspects this past January in Basra. [Atef Hassan/Reuters]

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An Iraqi army force killed a gunman described as a leading al-Qaeda figure in a security operation south of Tikrit last Thursday, (September 14th), Iraqi police in Salaheddine province announced.

The army force also arrested five other gunmen during the security operation.

Police spokesperson Hasan al-Majmaie told Mawtani, "A special army unit, assisted by police, raided a military industrial complex used by the former Iraqi army in the Tigris waterway area, where a number of al-Qaeda elements had gathered."

"After gunfire exchange for about an hour and a half, the Iraqi security forces called in a military helicopter for air support, bombing the site and killing a leading al-Qaeda member named Hashem Matar," al-Majmaie added.

"Five others were wounded and later arrested and taken to a special hospital under tight security," he said.

"The security forces found a large warehouse of weapons and explosives belonging to al-Qaeda and containing dozens of explosive charges of various sizes, ammunition for medium and light weapons, and rockets, which had been partly triggered off by the bombing," al-Majmaie said.

Brig. Gen. Raheem Hasan, commander of the Iraqi army eighth brigade, told Mawtani, "The operation required the participation of about 100 army soldiers and more than 50 policemen, in addition to a military helicopter because of the danger posed by the gunmen.

"The force also had information confirming the suspects were wearing explosive belts, which made the storming of the site extremely difficult," he added.

Hasan said the five detainees "represent a huge depot of information for the security forces, and we are waiting for a special team to start interrogating them to identify the many personalities and big names who are working for al-Qaeda."

Explosives designed to 'torture people before killing them'

Lt. Col. Sadoun al-Ajeely, director of the counter explosives unit in Salaheddine, said, "We were surprised by the huge quantities of explosives uncovered and the way they had been manufactured, because they contained toxic materials, and malicious shrapnel that could cut the human body to small pieces.

"It is as if they relished the torturing of people before killing them," he added.

Deputy Governor of Salaheddine, Mahmoud Abdullah, told Mawtani, "The local government in the province has decided to reward the security personnel who took part in the operation as a celebration of this achievement."

“It came at a time when the people were in need of relief and restored confidence in the security forces in the wake of the heinous terrorist attacks that struck the country in the past two weeks," he added.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    خالد عبدالله

    2012-10-12

    The decline, loss and collapse of terrorist groups from “Al-Qaeda” are due to the murder of its leaders and given that the Security Forces were tracking them down. But there are some of them who carry out terrorist operations against innocent Iraqi people under the name of “Al-Jihad”, Liberation and other slogans. Thanks to God, thanks to the Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi people, these groups will be definitely eradicated. Thus, cooperation is required between the Security Forces and the Iraqi people in order to eliminate all the remaining elements from the terrorist groups who are trying to resume their activities against the Iraqi people. The latter are preoccupied with life requirements and forgot about the presence of “Al Qaeda”. The media also stopped broadcasting their activities, knowing that they served indirectly this group’s progress. Thus, their fame has vanished. Men of religion play a crucial role in fighting against all criminal and terrorist elements. They guide people, instruct and make them aware of “Al-Qaeda’s reality. They are just terrorist groups working on shedding the Iraqi people’s blood, causing death, killing many of them and sowing discord and sectarianism among the Iraqi sons. They are always seeking to spread ruin, corruption, death, murder and bloodshed among the Iraqi people. That’s why we really want to witness their imminent collapse.

  • عبدالله خلف

    2012-9-27

    We congratulate the security forces on all their efforts and works to eradicate terrorism in Iraq and to strike with force and determination at these organizations and their elements, and on the successful campaigns that the security forces are carrying out in order to put an end to the threat posed by these terrorist organizations, and denying them any opportunity to kill more innocent people. We thank them for all the duties that they have carried out, and at the same time we pray for the souls of all the martyrs among the security forces that have sacrificed their lives for the sake of this country and its people.

  • خالد عبدالعزيز يعقوب

    2012-9-24

    We must thank the Iraqi Security Forces who have been exposed to a lot of difficulties, suffering, hardship, fatigue and risks in order to provide security, stability, calm and safety for Iraqis. They have also tracked down and arrested all the terrorist elements and groups who have launched attacks against the innocent people. The Iraqi Security Forces have done their national duty. In fact, they must protect people from dangers. That’s why they have faced a lot of fatigue and burden. Thus, Iraqis must help and support them in order to provide them with the confidence that they can assume the responsibility. In fact, these Security Forces have sacrificed their lives for the sake of Iraqis in order to live in safety and tranquility. Thus, the Iraqi Government must thank and commend the Security Forces in order to make them feel confident. Congratulations to the Iraqi Security Forces who have challenged all the difficulties and obstacles for the sake of Iraq and Iraqis. May God protect you. You must be patient and you must rely on God because this can increase your strength. In fact, you are the heroes of Iraq. That’s why you must make more efforts in order to get rid of these terrorist groups and organizations that want to topple Iraq.

  • علي احمد حبيب

    2012-9-24

    We ask the Iraqi Government to take more serious measures in order to fight terrorism and its organizations. Thus, it is important to prevent all the forms of financial support for these terrorist groups. Besides, it is important to prevent these terrorist from having a safe haven. And they must not be supported. And it is important to inspect accurately those who enter through the different borders. This is in addition to the exchange of information with the other Governments concerning the groups that have carried out or planned terrorist operations. In fact, it is important to cooperate with other Governments in order to arrest these terrorists and to bring them to trial. Besides, it is important criminalize those who provide explicit or implicit assistance for terrorism in the local laws. And those who violate these laws must be brought to trial. The Police and Intelligence must detect those who carry out and support the terrorist operations. These terrorists must be arrested. And it is important to control the customs, immigration and borders in order to prevent the terrorist from finding a safe haven. It is also important to prevent the terrorists from obtaining arms.

  • عبدالخالق عبدالمجيد

    2012-9-24

    For me, terrorism does not tolerate disagreement. This is true already, because we see people motivated to kill other innocent people without a motive other than disagreement over the concept of the culture or even about religion, and to kill hundreds or even thousands of innocent people. Finally, we can face this dreaded disease and remove it from the body of the world through rigorous and effective treatment that does not accept debate and controversy about it. It is to kill the killer, even if it takes a while, because terrorism is the corruption of the entire world.

  • eslam

    2012-9-23

    This is right

  • ابوجعفر

    2012-9-20

    God bless all the honest heroes in the security forces. God bless our families in Tikrit and may He protect them from every hostile criminal.

  • me

    2012-9-20

    Peace be on you! May they live to serve the sons of Saladin!

  • مرزوق عبد الله

    2012-9-20

    The Iraqi government has trained many of the heroes of the army and the police especially from the interior Ministry specialized in terrorism affairs and fighting bombs. They put up studied plans and give commands for the officers to train their soldiers more and teach them how to fight against terrorism and the explosives that terrorists used. Thanks to God, many concerned authorities were able to track these groups and dismantled many bombs and car bombs as well, as they arrested many of the terrorists who were suspected to be involved with the al-Qaeda organization. This a was grace from God and then the security forces fighting against terrorism. These ways will enable the security forces to arrest the remaining individuals of the terrorist groups.

  • عطية حسن

    2012-9-20

    What the Iraqi Security Forces do regarding the acts on the battlefield with elements of terrorism and terrorists are some things that should be strongly remembered by the Iraqis and because the Iraqi Security Forces are not as they were in the past. Maybe there were security elements in the armed forces that are not experienced in dealing with terrorism and terrorists. However, now, the most attention from the Iraqi Government is to see that the majority of security forces in Iraq have become experienced in dealing with terrorists and extremists, and how they can cope with them. Moreover, the security forces now are the ones who control the terrorists. Now, the security forces arrested the terrorists, who killed and shed blood, but the Iraqi Security Forces will not allow them to do that again, as it arrests wagging and kills firmly and severely anyone who wants to harm the Iraqis. We congratulate the Iraqi Government first because of its effort in order to equip the Iraqi Security Forces with the best gear and enter them to courses that will gain the Iraqi soldier experience in the face of terrorism and terrorists. We thank the Iraqi Security Forces because they are arresting dangerous insurgents, terrorists and thugs in Iraq as well as those who do not want the best for Iraq and the Iraqis. They were held accountable by the security forces and we demand that the security forces continue to pursue the terrorists.

  • نبيل عبدالرزاق

    2012-9-20

    The Iraqi Forces, those valiant combat troops, contributed significantly to the elimination of these extremist terrorist movements. These valiant Iraqi Forces had many operations aimed at the eradication of the extremist terrorist movements until they arrested the lot of them and killed significant numbers of these killers. How many lives have been lost at the hands of the terrorist groups who have no compassion or conscience? How could a young man be killed and how many women have been killed? This is not all but also, how many children have been killed? Yes, even children. They did not leave them to enjoy their security. They are people whose hearts have no mercy and stopped feeling. Allah will suffice us of each person who wanted to harm the Iraqi State and God bless the strong Iraqi Forces.

  • راجح أحمد خلف

    2012-9-20

    The armed forces and the intelligence personnel have sought to reveal the secrets of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and to detect the patterns of their thoughts. Also, the efforts of the intelligence personnel have led to the penetration of the ranks of the organization and detecting its plans and movements before any suicide attack has been implemented. We do not forget the efforts of the Iraqi citizens, their cooperation with the security agencies and their submitting of communications about suspicious elements that are near residential areas which led to facilitation of the process of arresting terrorists and criminals and putting them in prison to relieve people of the ghost of bloodshed that haunted them in their sleeping and waking hours. Also, as the actions of the armed forces and the development of their training security agency lead to the obstruction of the terrorist movement, so that it cannot deliver weapons or any financial support; this has led to the paralyzing of their movement and caused them to stay in isolated shelters during the security siege. Their power is slowly weakening, until it ends with the dying of al-Qaeda, especially after the arrest of the most prominent leaders and their being killed.

  • ياسر محمد حسين

    2012-9-20

    The importance of getting rid of terrorism and evil in Iraq is very great, as terrorism not only represents a stubborn obstacle in front of the Iraqi economic development, but it also hinders the continuity of life in the Iraqi community. By getting rid of this obstacle, the trend of development and progress will start and continue its journey in reviving the Iraqi society again. The Iraqi security forces pursue the terrorist elements and gangs that terrorize citizens, destabilize the national security in the state, and commit crimes of killing, robbery and kidnapping. They investigate the arrested terrorists to find out about the rest of the terrorist cells and to uproot it from the state. This led to the withdrawal of some terrorist groups to escape from Iraq, fearing justice or getting harsh punishment.

  • جاسم علي النعار

    2012-9-19

    Knowing the structure of Al-Qaeda and revealing its secrets and the way it works, and arresting the prominent leaders are among the most important factors in the collapse of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

  • حسين خليل ابراهيم

    2012-9-19

    Terrorism and terrorists have no religion, so they have to be punished harshly in response to their destructive works and the corruption of their minds that is reflected in their heinous crimes.

  • عبدالعزيز محمد

    2012-9-19

    In my opinion and as I see it in reality, the al-Qaeda organization in Iraq has ended and collapsed and is now in the past. This is not only due to the withdrawal of some individuals of al-Qaeda from Iraq, but also to the Arab awakening in Iraq, the unity of the people and their cooperation with the government that led to the arrest of many criminal elements and to stopping the activity of the leaders of the organization and confusing their plans. Although many of Iraq's enemies wish for the success of al-Qaeda, their hopes have been dashed; they wished to divide Iraq into scattered pieces. Thanks to the efforts of the intelligence personnel, the organization has been broken, due to the arrest of the most prominent leaders of al-Qaeda.