Iraqi forces arrested 17 suspects wanted by the Iraqi judiciary in security operations launched Sunday (October 16th) in the provinces of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Karbala, Baghdad and Babil.
Col. Mohammed al-Rawi of Anbar province police command said the security operations were based on intelligence examined by security forces in those provinces at a meeting held in Baghdad a few days ago.
"We obtained information on the terrorists from the confessions of three Islamic State of Iraq-affiliated terrorists arrested in Ramadi three weeks ago," al-Rawi told Mawtani. "Additional intelligence was gathered, and the fleeing terrorists were located in a number of provinces."
Based on that information, security forces decided to launch the operations.
Al-Rawi said the security forces launched the operations after the necessary judicial orders were issued to arrest them. He said that five of the wanted suspects were arrested in Ramadi and Zube village, while four were arrested in Baghdad, three in Karbala, and five in Salah al-Din and Babil.
Lt. Col. Ali Shahir, deputy director of the counterterrorism office in the Rasafa side of Baghdad, said that cooperation among security forces was essential to the success of the operation.
"Cooperation between the security forces from the army, police and other security agencies in all provinces is bearing fruit in the stability of the security situation in Iraq," he said.
"Intelligence provided by security forces in Anbar has contributed to the arrest of dangerous terrorists, including members of terrorist groups responsible for recruiting suicide bombers and terrorists to carry out terrorist operations."
Shahir told Mawtani that terrorist groups have started to change their hideouts and are now moving between provinces, villages and rural areas to form new hideouts. "However, they failed in what they were planning and could not hide for long."
According to Shahir, investigations are ongoing with the detainees. Less than three hours after the suspects were arrested, citizens filed 13 legal actions against them for involvement in kidnappings and threats against doctors, pharmacy owners and real estate companies in a number of provinces.
Capt. Talal al-Hashemi of the anti-crime department in Tikrit told Mawtani that the detainees confessed during initial investigations to planning attacks in a number of Iraqi provinces.
"The new security operations have thwarted terrorist plans that would have targeted civilians and the sovereignty of our country, and threatened the security and stability of the Iraqi provinces where they were arrested."
Al-Hashemi said the arresting forces in Salah al-Din found in the possession of the suspects a number of light weapons and CDs containing information used to threaten citizens in order to blackmail them and extort sums of money from them.
"The experience of security forces and their fast action based on correct information have helped arrest the wanted individuals and discover their hideouts quickly," said Capt. Raad Sadek of the emergency regiment in Karbala province.
"The investigations will continue with the terrorists to discover the groups that they are working with," he told Mawtani. "We will arrest all of them and rid citizens of their evils."