Iraqi forces capture suspected terrorist leaders

Iraqi security forces gather in Baghdad. [Thaier al-Sudani / Reuters]

Iraqi security forces gather in Baghdad. [Thaier al-Sudani / Reuters]

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Iraqi forces killed one suspect described as a leading figure in the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, and arrested five other suspects in a series of security raids in Ninewa, Salah al-Din and Baghdad provinces, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday (October 13th).

Security officials said the operations were based on intelligence data obtained by Iraqi forces and information provided by Iraqi citizens.

"The Iraqi army scored a new victory on Thursday in its war against terror," said Col. Bahjat Amer al-Obaidi, spokesperson for the Salah al-Din Operations Command.

Al-Obaidi said a unit from the Iraqi army's 5th division, backed by a police force, raided a stronghold of al-Qaeda members in the Shirgat area, north of Tikrit, after obtaining precise information on the presence of suspects.

"When the Iraqi forces tried to storm the building, they came under heavy gunfire from the terrorists," he told Mawtani. "Clashes with them lasted more than an hour and ended with the killing of the terrorist Ahmad Haweejah, known as Abul Widad al-Baghdadi, who is a leading and dangerous figure in al-Qaeda."

According to al-Obaidi, al-Baghdadi was the mastermind of the attack that targeted the Salah al-Din Provincial Council headquarters a few months ago, which killed and injured scores of civilians and security men, as well as an attack that struck the police recruiting center, which also killed and injured many citizens.

The raiding force detained three suspects described as assistants to al-Baghdadi.

Al-Obaidi said security forces also uncovered a stockpile of rockets, a car bomb, and 57 improvised explosive devices and sticky bombs.

Escaped terrorist re-captured in Taji

In the Taji district, Iraqi security forces arrested Oday al-Faris, a terrorist who had escaped from the Tikrit prison.

"The terrorist had been sentenced to jail in connection with his involvement in launching terrorist attacks in Salah al-Din province, and he finally fell in the hands of justice," al-Obaidi said.

Captured terrorists 'must be dealt a severe lesson'

In Ninewa province, Maj. Gen. Ali Jassem al-Furaiji, commander of the Iraqi army's 2nd division, said Iraqi forces launched a security campaign in Mosul that led to the arrest of Ismael Zawbaa, who he described as an al-Qaeda leader.

"The terrorist is the mufti of al-Qaeda in Ninewa province, the man who would be asked to give the green light for al-Qaeda attacks and the one who signed the death sentences of the innocents," al-Furaiji said.

Lt. Col. Jaber Naji Sabbar of the Mosul police said Zawbaa gave important information during his initial interrogation on terrorist attacks launched in Ninewa and in a number of other Iraqi provinces.

"We are working on verifying the information to check its validity, and if true, it would mean this terrorist and his group were involved in terrorist attacks against innocent citizens."

Hassan al-Sunaid, chairman of the Iraqi parliament's defense and security committee, called on Iraqi forces to continue their security operations and pursuit of terrorists throughout Iraq.

"The terrorists must be dealt a severe lesson," he told Mawtani.

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    مهدي سلام

    2011-10-30

    I would like to congratulate the Iraqi security forces for all the achievements they have accomplished in confronting and combating all the despicable, evil individuals who always want to inflict harm, ruin and destruction on Iraq and Iraqis. Therefore, the presence of the security forces has been a fortified shield for Iraq to stand in the face of oppression and tyranny, represented in terrorism and terrorists and the sinful remnants that always tamper with the security, independence and sovereignty of Iraq’s land and its people. As such, the security forces have always been the watchful eye that protects Iraqis’ security. These forces have confronted all kinds of threats, challenges and difficulties, caused by the criminal and terrorist gangs that tamper with the country and commit acts of bombings, murder, kidnapping, assassinations and violations of innocent citizens’ rights. They have been the source of citizens’ safety and protection and have always been the citizens’ security. Therefore, I would like to congratulate them for the achievements they have accomplished during this period through confronting the despicable groups that tamper with Iraq and the Iraqis’ security and stability. You have our greetings, appreciation and respect, you heroes of Iraq and lions that protect the homeland from the threats and the harm.

  • mohanad

    2011-10-21

    We wish that the Iraqi security forces would be able to protect the citizens and stop the bloodbath in the Iraqi streets. Security and stability will be achieved in Iraq, and it will be free and strong again. Amen, O Lord of the Worlds….

  • مجهول

    2011-10-20

    The arrest of the leader of Al-Qaeda in Anbar governorate and his interrogation led to the arrest of the members of the group in the Abu Ghraib area the next day. The commander of the Islamic State died in prison and the medical examiner acknowledged that the death was natural, not because of torture, as claimed by his family. However, before his death, he ordered 13 Iraqis to be killed and some Shiites to be displaced.