Iraqi forces arrest al-Qaeda suspects tied to last Thursday's attacks

Residents inspect the site of a bomb attack that struck Baqubah last Thursday (April 19th). [Stringer Iraq/Reuters]

Residents inspect the site of a bomb attack that struck Baqubah last Thursday (April 19th). [Stringer Iraq/Reuters]

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Twenty-four al-Qaeda suspects have been arrested in Baghdad province, including 12 who are believed to have been involved in last Thursday attacks, the Iraqi Ministry of Defence announced Monday (April 23rd).

The al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq on Friday claimed responsibility for the bloody attacks that rocked a number of cities across Iraq Thursday, killing at least 49 people and wounding at least 187.

"In the past 48 hours, special units of the Iraqi army launched attacks on al-Qaeda organization strongholds in Baghdad and the vicinity in retaliation for terrorist strikes launched in Baghdad and a number of Iraqi cities that were openly claimed by al-Qaeda," Iraqi Defence Ministry spokesperson Maj. Gen. Mohammad al-Askeri told Mawtani.

The joint army-police operation covered the areas of Abu Ghraib, Mahmoudiya, Tarmiya, and Ghazaliya, he said.

"The 12 gunmen were strongly linked to each other and used to have their headquarters in Abu Ghraib and Ameriya," al-Askeri said. "They are now being subjected to intensive interrogation at the hands of the Iraqi security forces under the complete supervision of the Iraqi judiciary and the attorney general's office."

Col. Hikmat al-Masary, director of relations and media at the Interior Ministry, told Mawtani that Iraqi forces found "maps and pictures showing the locations of the buildings in which [the detainees] were captured, and the checkpoints and markets in Baghdad that were targeted last Thursday."

"The security authorities want to arrest the other accomplices in the Thursday attacks quickly," he said.

Col. Jassem al-Furaijy of Baghdad operations command in the Karkh sector told Mawtani, "Security forces found weapons, explosives and new maps showing that the gunmen were preparing to launch a similar attack in the coming days."

He said CDs were found containing information related to past operations launched by al-Qaeda.

Hassan al-Sunaid, chairman of the Iraqi parliament's defence and security committee, praised the operation.

"The Iraqi people, and especially the families of the victims, are waiting for the security forces to please them by arresting the terrorists," he said."We in turn are pressing on the government and the Iraqi ministries to accelerate the defeat of the terrorists and insure the criminals do not get away."

"Today's operation represents a message to al-Qaeda that the period of lawlessness and escape from punishment is gone, and that the Iraqi forces' retaliation will be painful," he said.

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    نوري عبدالله

    2012-5-24

    We have suffered from the terrorist acts, bombings and suicide attacks that caused the shedding of the blood of our brothers everywhere. Iraq is among the countries that are most exposed to these criminal acts in an almost daily manner. The Iraqis have lost many loved ones who have been victims of these groups; groups that do not have a heart to have compassion for the weak people. They have no mercy on women or children who suffer from weakness and humiliation. Their behavior, which is approaching the behavior of a predator, has killed their minds and hearts; they do not feel and think. They are just a war machine that implements the orders they receive for money in return. No matter how many the numbers of victims will be and the extent of pain which they would cause to the innocent people and the Afghanistans, which suffer from the oppression of the Movement of the Taliban that imposes its control on them by killing innocent people and executing the prescribed penalty against the people without any right. The citizen in Afghanistan has been suffering from the fear of those groups. And Somalia, which suffers from the same pain being suffered by others; the innocents would be the victims of the acts of al-Qaeda in all the parts of Somalia, whether in the markets or in their homes or their jobs, the killings carried out against the civilians are more implemented against the military. Somalia and its people have suffered from the weakness of the security forces and the large number of thefts and killing. Al-Qaeda exists everywhere and it is the cause of ruin; there is no criminal operation or act of sabotage that Al-Qaeda is not behind. O Allah, have mercy on our children and our men and women who are our brothers everywhere. O Allah, do not shed on us those who do not fear you and who are not righteous and do not have mercy on us. O Allah, save our sons and daughters of the strife and evil of those groups. O Allah, include our martyrs with the saints and martyrs.

  • جواد طاهر

    2012-5-24

    How many people’s blood is shed in Iraq because of the attacks carried out by those cells? Because of them, they have suffered the severest kind of suffering that none of us can endure like what our brothers in Iraq have endured. Those who cannot live like others because of the large amount of suffering have become convinced that they will not be free from what they are and they count whoever falls among their own people as martyrs under the protection of Allah. Those cells do not feel the suffering that they cause to our brothers in Iraq, but rather enjoy seeing them suffering, otherwise, what will the goals of their acts be if they do not target the civilians as they say? These movements are violating the rights of others for the benefit they obtain from those acts. Their core role is the killing of innocent people and the displacement of children and widowing of the women; they earn a lot of money in return for such criminal acts.

  • زياد

    2012-5-24

    What is happening to our innocent Iraqi brothers is only injustice and a clear violation of their human rights. And they are unforgivable crimes carried out by those terrorist movements. Those criminal operations have exceeded their natural limits. There are thousands of victims whose lives were claimed as a result of those actions. Those forces have carried out acts of killing, stealing and looting of the properties of that nation which has suffered a lot because of those criminal acts. These movements do not have minds and we must not reckon them in humanity for the criminal acts that they carry out against their brothers in Islam. Those innocent people who have no guilt paid much with their blood because of the criminal acts. The acts of sabotage have exceeded the limits very much; they do not fear Allah, the Compeller, who sees them doing these acts under the name of religion, which is originally repudiating the actions that the Islamic religion denounces; the Islamic religion, which invites people to tolerance. The crimes that are happening are in their veins, and if they thought that Allah will reward them with goodness for those acts, they are dreamers because the killer is cursed by Allah; murder and theft bring the human out of the religion of Islam. They are dreaming of entering Paradise. They will not set foot on it, because of the massacres they committed against the Iraqi Muslims and the peaceful citizens. Let them ask themselves what they did to these people to receive all kinds of torment from them.

  • مالك صالح

    2012-5-23

    When we remember those really sad and painful scenes we could say nothing but supplicate Allah Almighty to forgive and bless them all. In fact, we saw many victims among the good Iraqi people. We hope that Paradise will be their destiny. I also pray Allah to bless and rest the souls of all our righteous martyrs who were the victims of acts of terrorism and suicide bombings regardless of their origins, colors, sects and religions. I also hope that Allah the Almighty will grant their families patience and solace and help them in their lives after the loss of their loved ones. Nothing could compensate for the loss of a family member, a relative or loved one. God had created us and to Him we shall return.

  • يحيى

    2012-5-21

    May Allah bless all the martyrs in Iraq, the people of our Muslim, patient and really militant nation which has made and is still making sacrifices to remain patient and to be able to face and endure all the conditions for the sake of this precious country. May Allah bless and forgive all the innocent victims whose number has reached millions. They have been martyred in the suicide terrorist and violence acts which the country has gone through since the overthrow of the former regime. May Allah bless all the children, women, the elderly and the youth who have been murdered. May Allah bless all the lives which have been claimed and all the blood which has been shed because of al-Qaeda and their extremist ideology. In fact, the latter has been responsible for the massive murder acts in many places and regions. Even the consolations have not been spared from their attacks given that they have been targeted many times by suicide bombers in addition to the churches, mosques, universities and public places. Therefore, I hope that Allah will bless all Iraqis regardless of their religion, sect or nationality, whether they are Muslims or Christian, Sunni or Shiite or from other religions. In fact, all Iraqis have made sacrifices and suffered from this terrorism which has not spared anyone. May Allah bless and forgive all our martyrs and make Heaven their final and best abode given that they have been really victims of an infidel ideology.

  • رقيب خالد

    2012-5-21

    O God! Have mercy upon our martyrs and admit them to Paradise. O God! Provide their families with patience and disgrace the takfiri terrorists in this world and hereafter. O God! Have mercy upon our martyrs and cure our wounded people. May God have mercy upon the martyrs of Iraq and admit these innocent souls to Paradise. They have rested forever. We ask God to admit you to the highest ranks in Paradise and to provide them with rivers in Paradise. O God! Reward them for their good deeds and forgive their misdeeds. O God! Forgive them and have mercy upon them. We seek God's help against all terrorists and Takfiris. The blood of the martyrs will not go unpunished and God will avenge your death. May Allah have mercy upon them and admit them to Paradise. We seek God's help against all the oppressors and terrorists.

  • ابو ناظم

    2012-5-20

    We ask God to have mercy upon the martyrs of Iraq who fall as a result of the terrorist operations and we ask Him to save the people from these movements that destroy the countries and kill the innocents without any guilt. O God! Have mercy upon them and admit them to Paradise. O God! Make their graves spacious and forgive their sins as You Are the Most Merciful and the ever Merciful. those people suffered much because of the insecurity, instability, and poverty. O God! provide them with better spouses, light their graves, and make them intercessors to their families and all those who love them. O God! purify them from all sins and save them from the torment of the fire. O God! provide them with the answers of the grave’s questions and have mercy upon them, because You Are the Most Merciful and the ever Merciful. O God! make their death a rest for them and save them from the torment of the grave. Those martyrs are with their Lord and He is more compassionate than any creator is. Those martyrs fell dead helplessly and they are innocents and they do not deserve what happened to them. However, we surrender to the divine predestination and we ask God to provide their families with patience over the departure of their beloved ones. We know the pain from which they suffer. The groups that cause pains have no hearts or minds and all what they care about is their personal interests. O God! make them an example to the people and purify the country from all of our martyrs, who are living with their Lord receiving provisions in Paradise. This is the only thing that soothes us because they are in a better place and they are happy. If they were offered to return to this world, they would refuse to return and leave the bliss in which they live. O God! have mercy upon all our martyrs. Amen O lord of the worlds. O God! destroy all those who participate in killing the Muslims.Our last call is, all praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds.

  • فريد جلال

    2012-5-16

    These cowardly operations reflect the true image of this terrorist organization and their aims, which might have deceived some people who have rotten minds. The operations committed by the terrorist organization of al-Qaeda against Muslims in Arab and Muslim countries are very sad crimes. They reflect the profound retardation in this organization, its members, its leaders and its thinking in general. Their thinking is a sick, takfiri, i.e. declaring others infidels, and false one; they claim that they perform Jihad and bring victory to Islam, while they are doing the exact opposite. They are killing Islam and defaming the kind, compassionate image of the monotheistic Islamic religion. It is the religion of forgiveness and the prohibition of killing the innocent soul. They do everything prohibited by religion, and all their actions are forbidden by the Sharia and any heavenly religion.

  • بديع

    2012-5-15

    Iraq is still witnessing cruel and bloody scenes. This is really painful. From time to time, our dear country loses victims among civilians because of the sporadic operations and bombings in different areas. The infidel terrorists of al-Qaeda, who do not fear Allah, are killing the civilians in the country. The terrorist and infidel organizations believe that these people do not deserve to live. I can only supplicate Allah to have mercy and forgiveness for all our righteous martyrs. They were the victims of terrorist suicide attacks. I also wish the injured and wounded as a result of those operations a speedy recovery, God willing. May Allah grant their families patience and solace and strengthen them by faith to endure these calamities perpetuated by cursed terrorism.

  • سيف الاسلام

    2012-5-15

    The terrorist attacks and the similar crimes make Iraq and many other states backward and seriously troubled. The poor civilians suffer much because of these troubles and I seek God's help against them because they are responsible for driving the people to this stage. They have destroyed many poor families which are helpless now.

  • قيس الرميلي

    2012-5-11

    We must face them with all our strength in order to stop them because they had gone too far and that the poor Iraqi people are bearing a lot of tragedies and pains, and the Iraqi martyrs are the best evidence of this matter. The malevolent terrorist attacks carried out by the malicious al-Qaeda are the worst and most cowardly acts. We must stop them and bear the responsibility ourselves, nothing more and nothing less. Allah the Almighty had opened the door of mercy to all the Iraqis and they are truly our heroic people. What they have done was the best thing when they faced al-Qaeda with all their strength.

  • الصباغ

    2012-5-11

    One thousand mercies and lights on the Iraqis’ heroes, the Iraqi martyrs, who are killed in the criminal terrorist attacks carried out by the cowardly terrorists in all the governorates of Iraq. All the terrorists want to kill all the Iraqis in order to take control of all the matters there.

  • محسن جميل

    2012-5-11

    The hero martyrs are honored by Allah the Almighty. Allah singled them out in his holy book that they dwell under the protection of Allah the Almighty as in the verse, “Think not of those who are slain in Allah´s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord.” These poor innocent people had no guilt, as they were killed for the sake of many things. Allah the Almighty has tested the Iraqis greatly and thankfully, the test is good for them. They have successfully passed this test and those terrorist attacks that occurred in Iraq are the attacks that have killed many innocent people. The civilians are those who are exposed to those attacks and most of them have died because of those incidents. The Iraqis are heroes and they have endured so much. God willing, the terrorists will be gotten rid of by the Iraqis as soon as possible, Allah the Almighty willing, and I call upon Allah, the Highest and the Greatest, to save us from them forever because their deeds are acts of malice and hatred, and they always call for malicious and criminal acts.

  • سالم صفاءالدين

    2012-5-11

    We call on Allah the Almighty to have mercy on them and protect them. Through his compassion, the Almighty God willing, Iraq and the Iraqis will get rid of the coward terrorists and they would be among the winners against them in order to stop these groups that are hateful to Islam. I am sure that what happened in the Arab States regarding the misfortunes are all due to the dirty terrorist intrigues and such organizations’ acts of malice, in order to sow strife among the States and make them worse. I think that the Arab countries must confront those villainous groups and show them that the power of Allah is stronger than any, and that they cannot distinguish Islam and the Muslims, and that the Arab countries are confronting this strong current and addressing it. God willing, Lord of the universe, there will be no storms in the future because Islam and Muslims are stronger than everyone and Allah is with the righteous. The terrorists and their plots will not benefit them because the Arab and Islamic countries have known that the terrorists want to take revenge on the Arab Muslims and they have learned their lesson. God willing, Lord of the universe, the terrorism and terrorists, their strength has decreased even more and everything that they are working for is over, and Allah is with the righteous.

  • عبدالرزاق فلاح

    2012-5-11

    We call Allah the Highest and the Greatest to rid the Arab nation and the Islamic world of the evil of every infidel and the evil of all hateful people, and that there would be no sedition. Allah is the Truth who knew what is in our hearts. O Allah, my Lord, save Iraq from the evil of its enemies that do not want the welfare of the country from the varmint terrorists of al-Qaeda who are working every day on killing the innocent people without any guilt, and that Allah the Almighty tests the patience of the Iraqi Muslims and other communities. All praise be to Allah. They are praising and thanking to him for the great merit. I pray to Allah the Highest and the Greatest to save us from the terrorists who kill the innocent people and want to take control of Iraq. There are a lot of innocent people who were killed and died, and they were martyrs, God the Almighty willing.

  • تحسين ابو عاصم

    2012-5-11

    Targeting civilians in Iraq is one of the biggest crimes committed against the innocent citizens. The reason for the activities of al-Qaeda in Iraq is the internal fighting between the members of the government in competing for authority. They forgot the people and their suffering, due to the operations committed by those terrorist movements. The members of the government are not neutral or objective towards what is happening in Iraq. It seems that the neglect of the security leaders in handling the crisis has disappointed the Iraqi citizens, despite the many reports and statements that show the fears of the Iraqi government regarding the Iraqi crisis and the situation all over the districts that have disputes. Some Iraqi scholars tried to decrease the intensity of fighting and to calm the struggle by using the language of religion and reason. They deal with things simply. The continuation of fighting will increase unrest, as seen in exchanging accusations, the constant brutal terrorist bombings, the security deterioration, assassinations and killing in the streets of the city. At the same time, there is a state of isolation and silence from the security leaders in the Iraqi government. The silence of some officials is suspicious; it looks as if they want more agitation and the exchange of more accusations. The crisis in Iraq is more than disagreements over administrative posts or the application of the constitutional items. It is almost turning into a coexistence crisis. It is not a new crisis, though; it represents a constant failure that cannot be controlled. It was using it to increase its authority in the country; then the crisis turned into a part of ruling the country. There are governmental and foreign authorities that benefit from the crisis in Iraq, to have representation in the parliament in the next elections. They think the more they cause agitation and conflict, the more power they will have. In addition, the conflicts and agitation will make people forget the services and economic issues; it will be easier to blame others concerning the security deterioration and the weak performance in all sectors. Any crisis is a chance for them to make political gains without being liable to be questioned about the security in Iraq as it should be. The proof is the continuation of the terrorist operations, because the security forces do not work as they should; they don't have the experience or the technology to fight terrorism. The citizen suffers from the dereliction of the security forces in fighting many terrorist actions, and this leads to the deaths of thousands of unarmed civilians.

  • رجب عبود

    2012-5-11

    The Iraqi forces have to increase the number of military recruits and deploy them all over Iraq. There are strategies that the Iraqi forces don't have, such as the modern technologies which most advanced countries use. The Iraqi forces have to develop their training strategy to prepare soldiers to fight the terrorist movements. They have to develop the weapons and armored vehicles they use and get the help of the Arab and Western security experiences.

  • باسل

    2012-5-10

    God have mercy on our martyrs who have been targeted by assassins and criminals of the elements of terror and disbelief targeting Islam and Muslims. O Lord, house them in eternal heaven promised for the martyrs and forbid the fire on their bodies and increase their betterment and enhance their resting place and have mercy on them. You are the Merciful, You are Lord of the Greatest Throne, and you crown the righteous. Lord we come to you today and every day in our prayers to ask you and invite you to honor the resting place of martyrs, and look at their situation and to compensate them better after they have suffered from catastrophic terrorism, and compensate them in Paradise and have mercy on them and give them the good reward of the Hereafter, and give them your intercession and mercy. Take them in your shadow and move them from shortness of graves to capacious Gardens of eternity, and alter make homes better. Our Lord, they are with the owner of everything who is capable of everything and they are the faithful who have testified to your oneness and there they are today in the hands of mercy of you, O God. Make heaven their home and send down the shame and destruction on those who killed them and their families and targeted them, the followers of terrorism and enemies of the faith, O God.

  • قاسم ذنون

    2012-5-10

    I ask for God’s mercy on the lives of the martyrs of Iraq, the righteous who have been victimized by terrorist attacks that affect our country. I ask God Almighty to let all the martyrs of Iraq rest in peace and bestow tender mercies upon them, pardon and forgiveness for them. Give them a home of sincerity and forgive their bad deeds and raise their grades and let them live in the high standards of the martyrs and the prophets and the saints and the righteous.

  • وجدي

    2012-4-28

    The terrorist operations in Iraq, especially after the last war that Iraq witnessed in 2003, have become a terrifying and fearful matter. One day you will find not just dozens, but hundreds of innocent citizens killed as a result of the terrorist operations. You will find houses demolished and mosques and churches bombed, men killed, women widowed and children orphaned; all this due to those armed operations that are led by some people, claiming that they are supporting the religion and the right, or claiming that they are establishing justice or resisting the brutal occupier. And in the end, you find that the one who is killed and whose blood is shed is the innocent citizen, who is not guilty of anything other than being an Iraqi person, born there and killed while he really does not know why he was killed. The one who looks at the scene in general and in depth will find that the terrorists are present throughout Iraq, but they are basically centralized in some crowded and sometimes fine cities, such as Mosul city, Kirkuk, Baghdad and others. But their cells and individuals are everywhere, in Iraq and outside Iraq, as well as in neighboring countries to Iraq. At any moment, you find the situation volatile, and the result is known, which is the destruction and killing of innocent people most of the time. I call upon God for them and for each innocent person who has been killed without being guilty of anything, to be beloved by Almighty God and to be led to the spacious paradise, and to be granted all the goodness and the reward in the hereafter.

  • محسن محمد جميل

    2012-4-28

    This action aims to tarnish the image of the Islamic religion on the grounds that it is a religion of violence, crime and bloodshed and has nothing to do with mercy, and that humanity and human beings are nothing, but, as a matter of fact, Islam is the exact reverse of the distorted, ugly and immoral thoughts about it. All of this, because of the malicious and terrorist elements that do not want the goodness for all the people, and are doing all this in order to get money and sowing death everywhere for political reasons, in addition to tarnishing the image of the Islamic religion. Allah, damn them and take them down in this world and in the hereafter, God willing.

  • خليل فاضل

    2012-4-27

    I ask you, O our Lord, to have mercy on our martyrs and make paradise their abode and to honor their house. Our Lord, we lost a lot of innocent people whose were claimed because of the crimes of al-Qaeda terrorists and their attacks. And we have been separated from many loved ones and families among the Iraqi people who suffer daily from attacks by these degenerates and we have nothing to do except to pray for mercy and forgiveness for them, and their acceptance under your protection. O Allah, martyrs for the sake of your holy face; these heroes who gave their pure lives in order to get rid of the blind terrorism that works hard at claiming the lives of civilians by the continuity of their temptation and their criminality that led to the loss of all these victims because of barbarism that elements of terrorism and its aides are known for, and there is nothing left for our glorious martyrs, except you, O Lord. Have mercy on them, forgive all their sins and increase their righteous deeds, and lift their grades and let them dwell in paradise as you promised the pious and the martyrs and the oppressed. O Allah, have mercy on us and we ask you now that by your mercy, which encompasses everything, that our martyrs will obtain your mercy and forgiveness, and make them martyrs under your protection to see what your enemies, the enemies of humanity among the element of the atonement, which kills as it sees fit, and forget that Allah sees what they are doing to the innocent people; we ask you for mercy, forgiveness and pardon, O Allah, for the martyrs and patience to their families, and bless them with reward and recompense.

  • عبدالرحمن

    2012-4-27

    I call Allah, the Almighty, to have mercy on the martyrs of the terrorist operations. These righteous martyrs whose souls went up to their Maker to complain about the oppression of the unjust among the elements of al-Qaeda who shed the blood and disseminated infidelity and immorality on earth because of their actions and the actions of terrorism that claim the lives of people daily without any deterrent of a conscience because the consciences of these fools and criminals have been influenced to kill these innocents in a sad and painful way that makes you angry, O Allah.

  • ابو هدى

    2012-4-27

    From my point of view, I believe that the continuity of the security violations in Iraq is a clear evidence that there is a mistake, maybe in the security measures or in the negligence or lack of commitment by some security leaders to the instructions and their full implementation, leading to the fact that the elements of the terrorist organizations take advantage of such vulnerabilities and increase their terrorist attacks to affect our people in Iraq, to spread chaos and sorrow in our country. And we see these attacks, which claim the lives of our people in Iraq. We can only criticize these security breaches because they are the reasons for the loss of civilian lives and the destabilization of security and stability in a number of Iraqi cities targeted by car bombings of criminals, and that disturb the internal security and sow grief and sorrow in the souls of the martyrs whom we lost. In my opinion, these repeated violations must end and any form of neglect or inaction should with them. The sleeping cells of terrorism are still awaiting opportunities for carrying out atonement attacks through which they are trying to prove that their organizations are still active in the Iraqi arena and trying to distort the stable security situation in Iraq, which has seen internal stability which revived the situation in Iraq in all fields. Therefore, there is no room for complacency in the security issue and we cannot give an opportunity for the terrorists to carry out such attacks from time to time because others will say that security forces in Iraq are unable to protect its people from these terrorist elements and this of course, cannot satisfy us.

  • نورضياء

    2012-4-25

    What are the civilians who fall as a result of these terrorist operations in Iraq guilty of? May God have mercy upon them.

  • ليلى احمد صايل

    2012-4-25

    Al-Qaeda and its leaders still represent serious threat to Iraq and its people as well as the whole world despite the killing and arresting many of the leaders of al-Qaeda, following the assassination of the head of the terrorist organization in Pakistan and Al-Zarqawi in Iraq, in addition to a number of the other leaders who created havoc on earth and who widowed and orphaned many women and children. Certainly, arresting those criminal leaders of al-Qaeda would save the people from their evils and harm in Iraq. Arresting them would also give a chance for peace and security to reign after arresting the last one of those criminals. That is because failure to arrest the criminal means that he would commit more crimes, but killing or arresting him would save the people from his crimes and injustice.