Iraqi forces arrest two suspected high-ranking al-Qaeda leaders

Iraqi forces carried out the operations with helicopter support. [Ho New / Reuters]

Iraqi forces carried out the operations with helicopter support. [Ho New / Reuters]

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Iraqi forces arrested 23 suspected terrorists in Baghdad and Ramadi and dismantled three car bombs set to target the Ministry of Planning, the University of Baghdad and local media institutions, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced Wednesday (December 1st).

The arrests were made in two separate operations carried out Tuesday morning. Iraqi security officials said the detainees include al-Qaeda members, including key ministers in the al-Qaeda front organisation, the Islamic State of Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Nuaman Dakhil, commander of the Rapid Intervention Forces in the Ministry of Interior, said the ministry received intelligence about the whereabouts of the suspects. After verifying the information, task forces from the ministry launched a ground attack on a residential building supported by helicopters in the area of al-Taji, north of Baghdad.

"The operation led to the arrest of Yas Shallal, a minister of the so-called al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq," Dakhil told Mawtani.com "He was in charge of recruiting Arab and foreign militants for al-Qaeda and bringing them from outside Iraq to the country."

Iraqi forces also arrested four of Shallal's aides in the same house.

Meanwhile, Col. Muhsin al-Jawad of the Ministry of Interior's SWAT forces said Iraqi security forces raided a residential building in Ramadi with support from US forces.

"Iraqi forces managed within 20 minutes to control the building which is located south of Ramadi and to arrest Hazim Abdul Razzaq al-Rawi, a cousin of al-Qaeda leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi," al-Jawad said. "The detainee is the security minister in the Islamic State of Iraq organisation."

"Al-Rawi confessed to having contacts via email messages with the current emir of the Islamic State of Iraq in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," al-Jawad said. "He also confessed to the whereabouts of the cells that he is leading, the work of al-Qaeda emirs and the nature of their movements, as well as about the nature of his work as the so-called security minister in the Islamic State of Iraq."

Al-Jawad added that al-Rawi confessed to the whereabouts of 41 individuals who he said were working indirectly with al-Qaeda, and that Iraqi forces arrested 15 of them within a few hours after al-Rawi's confessions.

Security forces dismantle three car bombs

Maj. Gen. Ahmed Abu Ragheef, director of internal affairs and security in the Ministry of Interior, said a special force from the ministry foiled several attacks using car bombs and improvised explosive devices on the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in Karradat Meriam area, the University of Baghdad and a number of local Iraqi media institutions.

"Thwarting the attacks al-Qaeda was preparing to carry out came following the arrest of the so-called wali of Baghdad and his aides a few days ago," Abu Ragheef said. "During the investigation, they revealed the locations of these car bombs that were hidden in areas near the sites of the Ministry of Planning, University of Baghdad and Iraqi media institutions."

Iraqi forces arrested two individuals suspected of preparing to carry out suicide attacks. They also dismantled the three car bombs.

Lt. Col. Bassil Hameed of the Federal Police said the security operations carried out by Iraqi forces in the past few days have also led to the discovery of 1,300 kilograms of explosives.

"These explosives are sufficient to destroy a whole residential neighbourhood and to kill hundreds of Iraqis," Hameed said. "However, they are now in the hands of security forces and were moved to a safe place to destroy them."

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    هاني المرزوق

    2010-12-17

    Every day, we witness horrible crimes against the citizens and the kidnapping of the innocents, as well as barbaric massacres of unarmed citizens and the heroic members of the security forces. This deviant and criminal group has targeted everything in our country. Hence, the arrest of some of the members of Al-Qaeda and its leaders by the police and the army is a victory for the truth and freedom. Getting rid of this criminal and terrorist organization is a victory that will delight all the innocents and families of the martyrs who were killed without being guilty of anything, at the hands of the elements of this extremist terrorist organization. A thousand congratulations to our heroic security forces, who confronted the remnants of the dirty terrorist organization of Al-Qaeda, and we hope that you will always be victorious. We will continue fighting until we liberate our country from this terrorist organization, which has been harassing us for several years. We want to restore peace and security to our country and bring happiness back to the faces of the children, after it had been stolen by this terrorist group. Again, we congratulate our security forces.

  • حميد مهدي

    2010-12-17

    The brave Iraqi security forces are tracking the members of the dirty terrorist organization of al-Qaeda and attacking its hideouts everywhere, based on the collected intelligence information. That information should help our brave security forces to arrest the elements of this terrorist organization and their leaders, so they will be sent to prison, which is their right place. There, they will receive just punishment for the crimes they are committing everyday against the innocent Iraqi citizens with their terrorist operations. We saw that their cowardly explosions targeted everything in Iraq.

  • امير محمد

    2010-12-11

    Al-Qaeda has certainly lost its base in Iraq. Its members and leaders have fallen into the hands of the brave security forces from the different sectors, and thus, Al-Qaeda no longer represents a danger to the future of Iraq. They are nothing but a bunch of murderers and criminal gangs that are doomed to be vanquished one day, God willing. So, thanks to the loyal Iraqis, who are continuously working on the preservation of security and the well-being of the citizens; and God bless all the patriotic Iraqis who have contributed to fighting Al-Qaeda. Let the Al-Qaeda criminals know that they will be kicked down sooner or later, and that they will not be able to stay on Iraqi territory without being captured by the Iraqi heroes. We are all proud of the security achievements that are made day after day, and we happily receive the news about the arrests of Al-Qaeda criminal leaders, who are falling like tree leaves in fall. The march towards security and safety will continue, despite Al-Qaeda and all the enemies of Iraq.

  • ابراهيم حسن

    2010-12-11

    I would like to congratulate the security forces on the magnificent efforts they are making on defeating the terrorist Al-Qaeda and its gangs of traitors. We have actually been expecting this to happen, because our brave security forces have tracked them down and have put well-studied plans in place, in order to capture them. They have succeeded in doing that, because they managed to cut off the head of the snake, by capturing the Al-Qaeda leaders who are the source of the scourge. This is a great victory for all Iraqis. These people deserve to be sentenced to death, so as to be a lesson to others. Our people will not be defeated, as long as there are heroes who bravely defend their homeland and their people. May God bless the brave Iraqi forces for this great achievement. We hope that they make even bigger efforts to defeat terrorists and their criminal organization, and to provide safety and security for the Iraqis, who have suffered greatly because of wars and terrorism. They should form strong special units that are responsible for capturing the remaining gangs. And I call upon every honest patriotic citizen to help the government and the army by reporting on every terrorist traitor who belongs to Al-Qaeda or the so-called Islamic State of Iraq, or anyone suspected of being involved with them. I would like to thank and congratulate the government and the heroic Iraqi forces once again for this sweeping victory; and I hope that God saves them from every enemy and all harm. God bless Iraq and its people.

  • احسان شرف الدين

    2010-12-10

    Al-Qaeda is a base of filth and false beards which are intended to deceive young people. It is a base of booby-trapping, killing, beheadings, and the culture of death for no reason. The brother kills his brother, and discrimination is their ultimate goal; all of these acts contradict logic, religion and the law. All the elements of al-Qaeda are criminals, if we examine the history of each one of them, especially the leaders, such as the defunct criminals, al-Zarqawi, al-Zawahiri and Abu Ayyub. All of them are wanted by justice, because they are criminals who joined this organization led by the bloodiest man, the accursed Osama bin Laden, whom God will put in the bottom of hell along with his elements, because they abused religion and committed heinous crimes.

  • 2010-12-10

    I wonder who Osama bin Laden is, this criminal villain who wants to become the leader of the Islamic nation. Who gave him such a role to play? He believed the game and deceived himself. He is an infidel criminal who is not welcome in any Arab Muslim country. Neither he nor his elements are welcome, who are involved in murder, crime, vice and all prohibited things, and every terrorist knows this. If those accursed people were true Muslims and observed Islam and followed its principles, they would be welcome in the Muslim countries. But they are criminal villains who are causing problems for Muslims in all countries of the world; they distort the reputation of the religion, and they kill women, children and the elderly. They do not have a goal, a principle, a doctrine or even faith. Where did Osama bin Laden, the vile terrorist, come from? We want him to be arrested and not be killed, but be put it in a cage near every place that has been subjected to a terrorist bombing or an attack by the elements of terrorism, and then people would stone him with rocks and shoes, so we would know who he is and the extent of hatred inside every Muslim towards this terrorist.

  • محمود العراقي

    2010-12-10

    I would like to congratulate and salute the heroic Iraqi security forces, which shoulder a great national duty, showing the patriotism of each element of our Iraqi forces through the war on terrorism and denying it the opportunity to control the country. We know that al-Qaeda wants to exploit any opportunity or any gap in order to implement its terrorist acts in Iraq and to make continuous attempts to found the so-called the Islamic State of Iraq. They also want to carry out the bombings that claim the lives of the civilians and innocent people who are not guilty of anything, just to satisfy their desire for bloodshed, and to spread division and chaos in every place in the country, as the terrorists want. But there are men who stand up and prevent these criminal ideas from being achieved on the land of Mesopotamia, the good, pure land. In the presence of jealous and faithful people, terrorists will not be able to implement any more massacres of innocent people. Congratulations to them on this victory, and shame on all those who gave up their religion, country and honor for terrorism, as terrorists will receive disgrace in this world and in the Hereafter.

  • سعدون الحلي

    2010-12-10

    There is a big campaign being waged by the brave men of the Iraqi forces, in which they arrest the leaders of al-Qaeda, and not only the members of that terrorist organization, but there is also a top leadership of this organization. The work continues, capturing the largest possible number of them, thus having a significant impact on this organization and weakening it. I thank the people of the Iraqi security forces for this great patriotic spirit, and I would like to tell them that, thanks to their efforts, Iraq will thrive, and today it enjoys security, after it had been non-existent. Congratulations on the successes that are announced and the arrest of the commanders, as they are called, of the Islamic State of Iraq, when they appear humiliated, confessing their sins and follies that they have committed against the people of Iraq. Congratulations to you on this victory. I hope God will guide them to the right path and help them against those villains. I hope they can continue to prosecute the leaders of the terrorist organization, to arrest them and those who come after them. Here, Manaf al-Rawi is still under investigation, and the security forces have been able to arrest his successor very quickly, through a quality operation of intelligence.