"Birds of Paradise" leader arrested in Iraq

[Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images] Intelligence operations led to the
					arrest of 'Birds of Paradise' leader Bassim Abu Khalil al-Mujahid.

[Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images] Intelligence operations led to the arrest of 'Birds of Paradise' leader Bassim Abu Khalil al-Mujahid.

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Iraqi forces arrested the leader of the al-Qaeda affiliated "Birds of Paradise" group during a security operation in Salah al-Din province, officials announced on Tuesday (April 20th).

The arrest came just hours after officials announced that two top leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq were killed.

The arrested terrorist, Bassim Abu Khalil al-Mujahid, is "a senior leader of al-Qaeda and is directly responsible for the recruitment of child suicide bombers as part of the Birds of Paradise group in the northern Iraqi provinces of Salah al-Din, Diyala, Kirkuk, and Ninawa," said Lt. Col. Abdullah Ali of Salah al-Din police.

Al-Mujahid was arrested in Balad district, north of Baghdad, based on tips that security agencies received from intelligence sources.

"This operation is a deadly blow to al-Qaeda, especially in al-Jazeera, an area adjacent to the province of Anbar and which was considered one of the strongholds of al-Qaeda in the past," Ali said.

"The Birds of Paradise group was directly responsible for recruiting children under 15, brainwashing them, and convincing them to carry out suicide operations -- or even deceiving them by placing explosives around their bodies, sending them to markets, and then blowing them up using a remote control," he added.

Ali is confident the arrest of al-Mujahid will lead to dismantling the terrorist organisation and discovering their connections "within one month at most."

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence also announced on Tuesday that the military leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq in the northern provinces was killed in a joint operation involving Iraqi and US forces.

Ahmed al-Ubaidi, known as Abu Suhaib, died in a security operation carried out in Mosul Tuesday at dawn, said Ministry of Defense official spokesperson Gen. Mohammed al-Askari.

"Al-Ubaidi was serving as an aide to al-Qaeda's most senior leader, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, whose death Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced Monday," al-Askari said in a press statement. "He is considered one of the top leaders of al-Qaeda. With his killing, a chapter of terrorism in the northern region will come to a close."

He added that Iraqi forces were acting on tips received earlier indicating that al-Ubaidi was at a house in the Somar neighborhood of Mosul. After security forces arrived at the house, a gunfight ensued and al-Ubaidi was killed. One Iraqi soldier was wounded in the fight.

Meanwhile, in Diyala, the police command said they thwarted a suicide attack targeting the local administration building in central Baqubah and arrested the terrorist who planned the attack.

Maj. Ghaleb al-Karkhi, spokesperson for Diyala Police Command, said "highly accurate tips" led to the arrest.

"The information that the arrested individual had is very important and will give a lot answers about al-Qaeda and its relations to neighbouring countries," al-Karkhi added.

Officials said this week's achievements are proof of the improvement of Iraq's security forces.

"The development of intelligence units in the Iraqi Army and police has been an important factor in the series of recent achievements by Iraqi forces," said Capt. Khaldoun al-Jurani of the anti-terrorism unit in Baghdad.

He said security forces in Baghdad alone carried out scores of successful operations in April, leading to the arrest of more than 33 terrorists, the seizure of nine weapons stockpiles, and the prevention of three suicide attacks.

"The development of intelligence agencies has enabled them to deal pre-emptive blows before terrorist attacks can be carried out and to arrest or kill the leaders of terrorist groups and perpetrators of suicide operations," al-Jurani added.

The arrests reassured Iraqi citizens that the security forces can maintain stability.

"In the past, I had doubts over the ability of the Iraqi forces to handle responsibility for the security file after the departure of the US forces," said Ali al-Qaisi, a 42-year-old from Ramadi. "However, today we have become more confident in their abilities. I think that the major achievements that have been made over the past few days were also the result of citizens' cooperation with the security forces."

Ahmed Sabah, an engineer from Baghdad said, "The killing of al-Qaeda leaders is proof of the end of that organisation in Iraq. It is also proof that Iraqis have severed relations with the terrorists."

"The dreams of terrorists to build a state of backwardness in Iraq governed by extremists and terrorists have been shattered," said Omar Mohammed, a 30-year-old teacher from Fallujah. "Islam has nothing to do with those terrorists, it is the religion of love and tolerance."

ADD A COMMENT (COMMENT POLICY) * DENOTES REQUIRED FIELD

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    هاشم الفلاحي

    2011-1-14

    The Iraqi security forces announce their blessed and successful security operations from time to time. We are happy to hear the news of these operations, because they constantly attack the cells of the criminal terrorism from time to time, with the heroic acts they carry out, to provide safety and security for the innocent citizens. Such security is provided through foiling many of the terrorist schemes which terrorism intends to carry out through the terrorist agents involved in terrorism.

  • من بقتل العراقيين

    2010-10-22

    Those who stand behind killing the Iraqis are: 1- The Israeli Mossad 2- The U.S. troops 3- The bodyguards 4- The Iraqi police and security forces 5- The militias of al-Hakim, Muqtada and Ahmad Chalabi 6- The Kurdish Peshmerga, especially in Mosul and Kirkuk. Al-Qaeda kills: 1- The sectarian security forces, which are mostly Shiite 2- The Iraqi forces that are loyal to the America and Iran As for those who kill the innocents in Iraq, we all know them and we should not be deceived by the lies of the treacherous Iraqi government.

  • ن الخزاعي

    2010-7-30

    Is this Islam really? Islam has nothing to do with those criminals. ‏

  • رباح

    2010-6-10

    The fact that the government killed and captured the terrorists has considerably helped reduce the number of suicide attacks which used to take place in Iraq previously, because the government has captured many individuals who provided information, which proved to be very useful to the security forces. Using these pieces of information, they were able to find out about the attacks and assaults that the terrorists were planning to execute, the plans that they devised, their smuggling activities, and their sources of financing, as well as all those who were providing help to them, whether it be individuals or those within the security agencies, especially given that the latter were infiltrated to a large extent in the past, because they were formed with the formation of the new government, and time was short for the government to eliminate all terrorist members that were present within the government at that time. However, with time, it succeeded in doing so, based on the admissions of many of the terrorists who were collaborating with them, helping them and giving them information. The government cleansed many of the security agencies, and those working at the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense.

  • مهند

    2010-6-10

    The Iraqi government and its heroic security forces have done what no other country has done in recent years. Many of the Arab and foreign countries where terrorism is present, or in case they were to come under the type of savage attacks by terrorists similar to what Iraq has been subjected to, they would have not been able to repel these terrorist criminals. However, Iraq withstood everything, and rose to its feet once again, and fought back forcefully against terrorists, and pushed them back to where they came from. The security forces confronted terrorists fearlessly and without hesitation for the sake of Iraq, in order to establish security in the country. The Iraqi government and its security forces launched massive campaigns against terrorists, ones that were strong and deterrent, in order to try to get control of the situation, and to kill and capture the highest number of terrorists possible. Indeed, these campaigns were a source of strength for the security forces, and another of fear and weakness for terrorists, because they sustained heavy losses as consequences in addition to their loss of many of their members, who were captured by the security forces that swept through many regions and were able to discover many of the dens and hideouts used by terrorists, where they hide their weapons. They also captured many of the members wanted by the government, including members, leaders and those collaborating with terrorists. The government forces’ contribution is huge, as evidenced by their heroic stances against terrorists, hunting them down wherever they are found.

  • عمر علي

    2010-6-6

    The government should pay more attention to the young people, try to provide them with their needs, and facilitate many of their issues that have become difficult for the young Muslims, especially in Iraq. Each Muslim should get married in order to fulfill his religious obligation, and here is the role of the government. For example, it may help him get married and prepare him psychologically, mentally, intellectually and religiously for marriage, family and responsibility, so he will not resort to violence; because this family is yours, and the woman is your wife and your partner in life. The government should continue supporting him, not marry him off and then leave him to face life’s difficulties alone; it should be more responsible when he has kids, especially if he has no work or is unable to get employed, because all these things negatively affect his psychological state, and they might be a major factor behind his inclination toward violence, especially in our Arab, Eastern, Muslim society. This is what the young people should learn, and with his issues being facilitated, he won't resort to violence.

  • فيصل

    2010-6-4

    It is time for retribution, O al Qaeda's criminals. Iraqi courts must deal firmly and strongly with those criminals and terrorists, and sentence them with the harshest penalties according to the Iraqi law, which says that anyone who kills innocent people, who are not guilty of anything, has committed crimes against humanity and must be executed. Because this is what the criminals deserve according to the law, religion and the tribes. The terrorists in Iraq have committed crimes against the Iraqi people; they have killed many innocent people, orphaned children and widowed women. Every one of them should be arrested and judged in court immediately, and he will certainly be found guilty, due to the evidence against him; the blood of the innocents he killed. Executing those criminals is evidence that the Iraqi government has become very strong and able to arrest the terrorists and deliver them to the Iraqi courts, because these courts are fully sovereign.

  • غالي

    2010-6-3

    O terrorist, you will be domed to hell, by the permission of Allah.

  • حسن علي العزاوي

    2010-5-28

    Terrorism, with all its denominations, forms and organizations, is a grouping of sick criminal elements who want to wreak havoc and spread wrong ideology in a number of countries. Terrorism attempts to destroy the generation of Muslim youth and make them adhere to terrorism in the name of religion. Terrorism takes many forms to reach its objectives. The terrorists distort Quranic verses in order to persuade their audience. They convince those who do not have a religious education about their religion. Thus, we notice that those who belong to terrorism are either very young or ignorant. Therefore, terrorists always try to deal with this kind of people, in order to persuade and influence them easily, to help them or to become one of their members. Terrorism has no religion, as it exploits these young people, destroys their future and dashes their hopes, if they ever have any. What is this called by the Sheikhs of terrorism, who are in favor of bombings, killings and destruction? You are just contributing to the loss of young people in the prime of their life. So do you call this Jihad?

  • ابو تحسين

    2010-5-26

    Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb’s shrine is the most prominent one in the holy Najaf . Ali Ibn Abi Taleb, may Allah bless him, is the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. They grew up together. They became close to each other. Ali learned from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, till Muhammad was elected to deliver the message of Islam to the world. In addition, the Prophet Muhammad became the father-in-law of Ali when Ali married Fatma. Fatma gave birth to Al Hassan, Al Hussein and Zaineb. Ali’s family is distinguished in Islam, particularly for the Shiites. We mention the Shiites because they are the closest Muslims to the Prophet’s family. Throughout Islamic history, there were many disagreements, which led the Shiites to refuse to recognize any successor (khalif). Shiites devote a special love to these five persons: Ali, Fatma, Al Hassan, Al Hussein and Zineb, may Allah bless them.

  • عدي العراقي

    2010-5-11

    The rise of the Iraqis and their cooperation with the Iraqi forces and the Iraqi government has helped greatly in arresting the terrorists from all areas. Raids on the terrorist’s dens were successful and have brought information on the terrorist’s leaders within Iraq, who sneaked in across the Iraqi borders. Step by step, terrorism was eliminated and the Iraqi lands were cleansed of the terrorists. The security forces have achieved success and proved their ability to control the situation, with the cooperation of other parties.

  • عراقي

    2010-5-10

    The economic factor is one of the most important factors that lead individuals to engage in criminal acts of the various denominations. Drugs, bombings, insecurity, corruption, and the decline in all levels of life are all factors that do not cause us to feel hard to understand when Iraq is described and classified as the most dangerous country in the world. A serious reaction from the Iraqi government and the world in the face of what happened in Iraq from devastating disaster is what the afflicted Iraqi people are looking forward to.

  • دلال

    2010-5-10

    The Al Qaeda organization [is] in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco, and in many other Arab African countries, such as Somalia. There are also reports that in Great Britain, it has trained young children and young men on how to carry out operations that are basically terrorist. Killing is not accepted by any religions, morals, laws, or anything that belongs to humanity. For this reason, the Iraqi society refused and still refuses and condemns such crimes. Now, just rejecting them will not eliminate them, and it will not save our youth of both sexes from joining such criminal activities, if the causes are provided to justify their actions, although we are convinced that there is no justification whatsoever for killing an innocent human being.

  • مسعود

    2010-5-10

    This organization is responsible for using children to carry out suicide bombings and criminal activities, so we must benefit from the loyal Iraqis, the Sunnis and Shias, and unite them to expel the strangers and criminals who use women and children as weapons, in order to create a new, united Iraq.

  • مبارك حمدان

    2010-5-10

    Al Qaeda acts inhumanely, because they persuade the youth to carry out suicide bombings by brainwashing them, using the promise of heaven and the promise to take care of their families. They especially persuade the youth and children, who are orphans and who have no strong social ties, to join the family of Al Qaeda, and thus they are using a basic human instinct and an important one, which is [the need to] belong to an authority or organization that cares for them.

  • 2010-4-30

    We should present the truth as it is, without being biased in favor of some parties. What is the reality of the Al-Qaeda organization? Is not it a Jihadi organization? However, we conceal this truth, because we are wrong and liars. We do not want this to be exposed, since we give precedence to our positions and thrones over religion. Is there any Muslim ruler who acts rightly and patriotically? All of them are loyal to the USA and prefer to remain in their offices, even at the expense of their religions.

  • 12345678910

    2010-4-27

    Honestly, I did not read the article, because it is too long.

  • 2010-4-26

    Poor Iraqis