The Iraqi Ministry of Interior has posted the names and photos of 40 wanted terrorists at checkpoints, border entry points and airports around the country, officials said Wednesday (February 8th).
The ministry called on citizens across Iraq to collaborate with security forces to find the suspects, and allocated toll-free hotlines for citizens to call with information that could earn them significant financial rewards.
"The data posted concerns 40 terrorists, including nine leading figures of the al-Qaeda organisation and the Ansar al-Sunna group who were involved in deadly terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of dozens of citizens last year," said Maj. Gen. Adel Dahham, spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Interior.
Dahham said Iraqi security forces obtained the information on the suspects after conducting investigations into terrorist attacks and lifting the fingerprints of terrorists who had taken part in carrying out those attacks.
He called on Iraqi citizens to collaborate with the Iraqi security forces to capture the suspects.
"Their remaining at large poses a serious threat to the lives of citizens. Their appropriate place is in jail," he said.
He said the following telephone lines at the Ministries of Interior and Defence are ready to receive any information on the said terrorists or others: 103, 8173101, 873102, 873103, 873104, 873105, 873106, 873107, and 873108.
Ministry of Defence spokesperson Maj. Gen. Mohammad al-Askeri told Mawtani, "The group of the new terrorists whose pictures and names were publicised represents potential plans for murder and destruction in Iraq; therefore, exposing them is considered half of the mission that dictates their arrest or elimination."
"Capturing them will happen very quickly if citizens collaborate with us. Previous operations succeeded thanks to the citizens' collaboration with the security forces."
Al-Askeri said cash rewards of up to 100 million dinars ($86,000) will be presented to collaborators who help in capturing the wanted suspects. The rewards will be paid out to the citizens in total secrecy and without exposing their identities.
Head of the Sunni Endowment office in Iraq, Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Ghafoor al-Samarrae, told Mawtani, "I call on all Iraqis to collaborate with the Iraqi security forces because it is their religious duty."
"The terrorists must not remain free. They pose a danger to all citizens and their capture and handover to the courts is inevitable in order for peace to prevail in the country," he said.
"In the past, we informed citizens that remaining silent over the terrorists is a sin, a crime, and a breach of the faith. They should protect themselves, their relatives, neighbours and all the innocents of Iraq," al-Samarrae said. "Compliance with the instructions made by the security forces is the only way for their salvation, and the liberation of Iraq from extremism and terror, as well as rebuilding it in a proper way which we can be proud of."