Police capture five 'al-Qaeda leaders' in Salah al-Din

Iraqi police escort a blindfolded suspect into a police vehicle. [Stringer/Reuters]

Iraqi police escort a blindfolded suspect into a police vehicle. [Stringer/Reuters]

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Members of the Iraqi police arrested five suspected al-Qaeda leaders and killed two others during a security operation in Salah al-Din, police announced Sunday (November 27th).

An estimated 100 members of the Iraqi security forces participated in the operation in the Dayyum area, west of Tikrit.

"The operation was launched based on intelligence information the police had been working on for a whole month," said Brig. Gen. Jassem Wadi al-Samarrae, deputy commander of the Salah al-Din police.

Al-Samarrae told Mawtani a clash occurred between Iraqi forces and the suspects who were entrenched inside a house above a weapons depot. The fight lasted more than 45 minutes and resulted in the death of two suspects and the capture of five others.

The detainees were identified as Sameer Ali, Mahdi al-Dayeni, Jamal al-Dujaily, Salem Gasusa and Luay Khazaal.

"They are involved in horrific crimes and previously escaped to a neighboring country, where they received plastic surgery to change their appearance before returning to resume their terrorist activities," al-Samarrae said.

One member of the Iraqi forces was killed, and four others were wounded during the exchange.

Al-Samarrae said the detainees were transferred to an Iraqi army security detention center and will be transported to Baghdad to be prosecuted in Iraqi courts.

Security forces seized 200 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during the operation. Each weighed between three and eight kilograms, and they were hidden in an underground facility.

"It is believed this was the strategic storage location for the al-Qaeda organization, which they used in attacks on the Iraqi army and police convoys, and in targeting markets, public spaces and government offices," al-Sammarae said. "Also seized were 300 mortar rounds, TNT sticks, weapons and light arms ammunition."

'Painful blow to al-Qaeda'

Lt. Col. Safa Ghanim, commander of the Salah al-Din Police Rapid Intervention Force, told Mawtani that an Iraqi army engineering unit transported the IEDs and rocket rounds to a military base in the desert west of Tikrit where they will be destroyed.

"The huge stock of explosives that al-Qaeda kept would have maintained operations for its daily death machine for more than a full year," he said.

Ghanim said the security operation was of high quality and represented a painful blow to al-Qaeda.

"The terrorist group lost seven of its leaders, aside from its weapons depot which must have required the collection of huge funds, both of which are now generally in short supply among the terrorists in Iraq today," he said.

Khamees al-Abid, a member of the defense and security committee in the Salah al-Din Provincial Council, said the operation was "an absolute success, a great victory, and a source of optimism when we see the people and the legislative and the executive authorities standing in unison".

"Citizens who suffered damages at the hands of those terrorists, or had one of their family members killed, should visit the specialized courts in the province to file a legal case against them so a just punishment can be delivered," he told Mawtani.

Several citizens in the province expressed their support for the Iraqi forces' security operations.

"All Iraqis are calling for the continuation of these successful operations. They are for our sake and the sake of our children," said Abbas Fadhil, 34. "We want to see more arrests of terrorists, and the security forces will find supporters in every town, neighborhood and street they enter."

Ali Assad, 40, said, "Al-Qaeda terrorists are the most dangerous in history. Such operations must be resumed for the sake of goodwill and peace in our country and the whole world."

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  • READER COMMENTS

    hashim

    2012-1-21

    Execute them in front of the world, in order to eliminate Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

  • هيثم خليل

    2011-12-24

    Terrorists deal in drugs in order to attract and recruit young people. They use the revenues from drugs to recruit new terrorist members whom they tempt with money. In fact, terrorists make use of money to cajole the needy and the poor into joining them in one way or another, and to get them involved in the terrorist acts they wish to carry out, or simply to get these needy people to give them assistance.

  • عقيل صدقي

    2011-12-15

    Al-Qaeda committed many horrible crimes in Salah Al-Din Governorate, and it killed many innocents there who were not guilty of anything. The people of the governorate suffered terribly, but they fear and cannot complain. I am from this governorate, and I want to tell you about the ongoing acts of violence in the city on the part of the militias of al-Qaeda and other parties. This governorate was afflicted, because it was the birthplace of Saddam, this mad dog who is responsible for all the problems that afflicted us. However, how long will Saddam and his supporters continue killing the innocent Iraqis everywhere? O God! Disgrace them, deprive them of anything good, and make their end come soon. Al-Qaeda is a cowardly terrorist organization that committed many crimes in Salah Al-Din Governorate, and no one can stop it. We are still demanding that the Iraqi government and the officials maintain security and stability in this governorate and end the current unbearable situation. I ask God to save this governorate from this great unrest. Al-Qaeda targets the vital and important locations in its dirty operations, but we will get rid of terrorism and the terrorists forever. I ask God to guide Iraq to what pleases Him. Amen. I swear that al-Qaeda has full freedom to work in Salah Ad-Din Governorate as it wishes. Hence, it is killing many innocent Iraqis, until many employees and students became afraid to go to their schools or workplaces. Hence, they keep silent, but the local government is required to find a quick solution to this problem. I believe that it is the duty of the governor to encourage the security forces in this area to tighten the security measures there and to strengthen their preparations and plans. Anyway, I expect that we will enjoy security and stability in this governorate soon, by God’s permission.

  • محسن علي

    2011-12-15

    At the present time, the security situation is witnessing a lot of improvement and stability, thanks to the work and the great security efforts exerted by our security forces in dealing with the remnants of terrorists and criminals. Therefore, I call upon the ministries and investment companies to continue their work and to begin to open the service projects which will contribute to improving the reality of Salah al-Din governorate. This governorate needs service projects in many of its sectors, such as the education and the health sectors and the services sectors needed by the citizen. I ask for a reconstruction revolution, in order to give the real response to terrorism and its miserable organizations. Today is the day of building and construction, and this is what we wish, in order to lighten the burdens of the citizen, and thus to provide the best services for him. Building more schools, paving the streets, extending the sewage networks, building hospitals and other projects are needed by the people of Salah al-Din governorate, after the destruction left by the al-Qaeda organization, which carried out all kinds of crimes against the people of Salah al-Din governorate. Therefore, I think that services must be the priorities which can bring life to this governorate and its cities, which are waiting to establish projects that will provide them the best services which will restore the bright face to their governorate and their cities. We call upon the ministries and departments to exert more efforts in order to bring about a qualitative shift in the services sector in Salah al-Din governorate that the people need for their comfort and for the beauty of their governorate.

  • خالد جبار

    2011-12-15

    We all know the suffering of Salah al-Din governorate and its people from the terrorist operations which targeted this governorate over the past years. Terrorism had an effective role in stopping the wheel of building and construction in Salah al-Din governorate, and the previous security situation was not conducive to continue starting great service projects, because they were targeted by terrorism. The security situation was the reason for many of the investment companies’ staying away from going to Salah al-Din governorate, so as to avoid the criminal operations carried out by the terrorist and infidel al-Qaeda organization.

  • مهند صلاح الدين

    2011-12-15

    The al-Qaeda terrorist organization and its evil elements of the criminals and murderers have carried out a lot of crimes in Salah al-Din governorate, which cannot be counted. The al-Qaeda criminal and infidel organization has committed a lot of the horrible crimes which claimed the lives of many of the innocent people, such as the murders, the decapitations, the car bombs that exploded in public places, and the kidnappings and the displacements. These were some of the greatest crimes practiced by this mean organization, which caused many tragedies to the civilian people of Salah al-Din governorate. This blind terrorism, represented in the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and the malevolent and infidel elements that work with them, has practiced many of the crimes that we consider as acts of genocide, which target humanity with their horror. Operations of cutting off the roads as well as the operations of theft, which are being practiced, have targeted a lot of passersby. This is in addition to its terrible acts of targeting the governmental and service institutions, through which it was aiming at stopping the wheel of construction and reconstruction in all parts of Salah al-Din governorate, as well as stopping the service progress and adding to the destabilization of the security situation, through repeatedly targeting the public places and markets, as well as killing the civilians through the detested bombing operations, so as to spread terror among the secure civilians.

  • ناظم اسعد

    2011-12-14

    Indeed, whoever said that terrorism has no religion has spoken the truth! The terrorist activities that the al-Qaeda groups engage in against the people in Salah al-Din province are horrible and criminal. They should be stopped, and firm and harsh measures should be taken against all the elements and members of terrorist and armed groups that engage in spreading fear, terror and anxiety among the inhabitants of the province, where numerous terrorist attacks have taken place, taking many innocent lives of people who have done no wrong. So the government should enhance the presence of the Iraqi security forces, the army and the police there, and provide support to all the forces that are present in the province. Of course, all of this is to preserve the lives of the citizens and to eradicate terrorist and armed groups and elements, who pose a threat and a danger to the lives of citizens. As such, the citizens should also cooperate with the Iraqi security forces and support them, in order to get to all the terrorist groups. The scope of communications activities should be widened and intensified, in order to report all suspicious groups of terrorist elements. This way, we will be able to get to all the terrorist groups as quickly as possible. This will facilitate many things for them in terms of pursuing and hunting down the terrorists, and also capturing, arresting and prosecuting them, so that they can be justly rewarded, because they are the cause behind all the harm and hardships that have happened to innocent people who have done no wrong. They have engaged in numerous bomb attacks, booby-trapping, assassinations, looting and pillaging, and forced the displacement and segregation of the Iraqi people. It is very crucial to eliminate all the leading figures that are behind the enlistment of many youths, and implicating and instructing them to carry out bombings, killings and the desecration and spilling of the blood of many innocent people.

  • قاسم

    2011-12-12

    Many of the people were immortalized by history because of their human works that contributed to the development and progress of humanity and its current modernity. Many other people were known for their crimes that harmed all of humanity. That is because it is known to all people that history does not have mercy upon anyone, and it records the deeds of the good and the evil people. As for the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and its members, they will be accursed throughout history, because of their countless crimes that killed many innocent people, whose blood irrigated the pure land of Iraq and mixed with the dust of Mesopotamia. These crimes will remain strong evidence of their criminality and hatred towards all people, regardless of their nationalities, religions or races. That is because the terrorists have only one purpose, which is killing the innocents, terrorizing the citizens, and taking their lives without any valid right. We all know that Iraq was targeted by fierce terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda over the past 8 years. Salah ad-Din governorate is one of the governorates most affected by their criminal operations. Hundreds of innocent citizens in this governorate were killed without being guilty of anything.

  • روؤف كريم

    2011-12-12

    Salah ad-Din Governorate is very large and it is a border governorate, which makes it easy for terrorists to get into it. Therefore, it is now a victim in the hands of those terrorists, who are like inhuman predators. Among the crimes that they committed against the innocents is carrying out many of the suicide attacks that targeted the crowded areas and bombing the premises of Salah ad-Din governorate, which was crowded with civil and military employees, in addition to blowing up many gatherings of the innocent applicants who wanted to volunteer in the Iraqi army or police. Hence, the crimes of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization in Salah ad-Din Governorate cannot be counted and are brutal. These crimes caused severe harm to the innocent citizens and terrorized them. This will continue disgracing this infidel organization, which killed the innocents, wasted their blood and displaced them. They were also the cause behind the destruction of many happy families that led a happy life, away from death, murder and destruction.

  • Shakr

    2011-12-10

    The province of Salah al-Din has witnessed many destructive operations of sabotage, bombings, and booby-trapping. This is due to the presence of terrorist organizations that have wreaked havoc in the land. Thus, the government must perform its duty as the concerned authority that must assume all the responsibilities. In fact, the government must compensate the citizens of Salah al-Din. It must provide them with all the services, such as water, sewage and electricity. They must also pave the streets and build new roads, as well as building clinics and hospitals. It is also important to build residential complexes. They must care for orphans by building orphanages, which must include all of the services and cadres. It is also important to provide salaries for widows, in order to help the orphans, and it is important to help the families that have lost their breadwinners. In fact, many mothers need to find a job opportunity in order to meet their children’s living needs.

  • [email protected]

    2011-11-29

    Sorry, I want to write this comment using some comments that I found appropriate: “You gave us hours, and took the time; they gave us parliaments, and took the freedom; they gave us the song, and took the festival; they gave us mosques and churches, and took the faith; they gave us the guards and locks, and took the security; they gave us the revolutionaries, and took the revolution.” Muhammad Al-Maghout