Iraqi security forces in Anbar arrested 11 suspects in security operations carried out throughout the province last week.
Col. Saad Abd of the Anbar Operations Command said the security operations were based on intelligence received by Iraqi forces about suspects attempting to recruit individuals to work for al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Based on that intelligence, Iraqi police and army forces carried out raids in Fallujah, Ramadi and the districts of Rawah and Eastern Husaybah, and arrested the suspects without resistance.
"The terrorists who were arrested are among the most dangerous names wanted by the Iraqi judiciary for their involvement in different terrorist operations that recently targeted innocent civilians," Abd told Mawtani. "Their most important task has been to recruit new elements for al-Qaeda."
During the raids, Iraqi forces discovered several weapons caches, including 21 improvised explosive devices and sticky bombs, 11 RPGs, 44 charges for propelling different rockets, five containers of ammunition for medium and light weapons, wires used in detonating bombs, quantities of TNT and C-4 explosives, five Kalashnikovs, seven rocket launchers, and a number of TOW missiles.
Lt. Col. Ibrahim al-Elwani of the Anbar provincial police command told Mawtani, "The terrorist organizations are trying to use various methods in their terrorist operations. They have even tried to recruit unknown elements who were not on the list of wanted individuals and to exploit young people for carrying out their terrorist operations. However, all of their plans were quickly discovered by Iraqi security forces."
"While collecting information and conducting preliminary investigations with the detainees, it was discovered that they were trying to recruit terrorist elements and suicide bombers to work for the al-Qaeda terrorist organization," al-Elwani said. "They even tried to recruit mentally deranged people or individuals suffering from psychological disorders."
Maj. Raed al-Hamdani of the Anbar police's rapid intervention regiment said that the capabilities of Iraqi forces have developed in the past few years, which has weakened terrorist groups' chances of carrying out attacks or recruiting new elements into their ranks.
"Al-Qaeda is always trying to use malicious ways to target civilians because Iraqi forces have discovered their plans and unveiled the names of people involved in terrorist groups," al-Hamdani told Mawtani. "Therefore, they are now looking for new elements and are exploiting the vulnerable. However, they have also failed in this method, which has been monitored and fully exposed."
Al-Hamdani stressed the importance of the role that tribal sheikhs and citizens play in making security operations a success and in thwarting terrorists' plans.
"Tribal sheikhs and citizens are providing tips that help us arrest terrorists and find their weapons caches," he said. "We hope that this cooperation between the security forces and citizens will last so that the security situation may continue to improve."