Coalition Targets Suicide-Bombing Cell, IED Network

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2008 - Coalition forces killed three terrorists…

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2008 – Coalition forces killed three terrorists and detained 10 suspects yesterday and today during operations to disrupt al Qaeda networks in northern and central Iraq, military officials said.

Southwest of Mahmudiyah today, coalition forces captured an alleged terrorist associated with facilitating weapons, improvised-explosive-device materials, vehicles and suicide bombers for use in al Qaeda in Iraq attacks. The individual is believed to be associated with six other individuals detained by coalition forces within the last month for suspected involvement in the weapons-facilitation network. Reports indicate the suspect is also a close contact of several terrorist leaders, including foreign-based weapons facilitators.

On the way to the target area, coalition forces were engaged by an armed individual, and they returned fire in self-defense, killing him. They continued on to the target building, where the wanted individual identified himself to the ground force and subsequently was detained, along with one additional suspect.

Also this morning, coalition forces conducted an operation in Baghdad resulting in the capture of an alleged terrorist facilitator for al Qaeda in Iraq networks operating between the capital city and north of Ramadi. The suspect reportedly is connected to IED and car-bombing networks in Baghdad and to the leader of the Ramadi al Qaeda network. In addition to the wanted individual, the ground force detained four suspected terrorists.

Nearby, one additional suspect was detained for his alleged ties to an IED manufacturer for a car-bombing network in Baghdad.

During an operation in Mosul yesterday morning, coalition forces targeted alleged associates of an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader and foreign-terrorist facilitator. Reports indicate that one of the targeted individuals is a leader of a suicide-bombing cell in the city and involved in attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces in the area.

Intelligence led coalition forces to an area where a vehicle associated with the targeted suspects was located and the ground force directed an airstrike. An individual who was in the targeted vehicle was observed fleeing the area, and coalition forces followed him to a nearby alley, where he was detained.

Also yesterday, coalition forces conducted an operation northeast of Samarra targeting an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader for the region. As coalition forces arrived in the target area, they observed two armed men. One of the individuals reached for his weapon, and coalition forces engaged, killing two terrorists. Upon clearing the area, the ground force recovered two weapons and IED materials. The ground force also destroyed a vehicle in the target area to prevent further use for terrorist activity.

“These operations are another example of Iraqi and coalition forces’ continued success against al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders and their networks,” said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “We are finding the places they hide and disrupting their ability to conduct vicious attacks on innocent civilians.”

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