Iraqi army forces arrested al-Qaeda's military leader in Diyala after he entered Mosul with an assistant, the Defence Ministry said Monday (July 2nd).
"The army forces received an urgent message indicating that the military leader of al-Qaeda in Diyala province, Sabir al-Shaalan, and his first assistant, Fathi Akkar, entered Ninawa in a Jeep," said Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari, the ministry spokesperson.
Al-Shaalan was coming from al-Khalis, north of Diyala, "disguised as security man and was carrying a fake ID", al-Askari added.
During the arrest, the army also seized money, fake IDs, four silencer-equipped pistols and an explosives vest, he said.
"Initial investigations confirm that al-Shaalan entered Ninawa to co-ordinate simultaneous terrorist attacks in Ninawa and Diyala," al-Askari said.