On Oct. 11, Iraqi forces arrested 18 suspects during a highly coordinated search for members of an extortion network known as the Islamic State of Iraq and related to al-Qaida in Iraq based in the northern city of Mosul.
Iraqi soldiers and police, with U.S. advisors, searched several buildings throughout Mosul with arrest warrants for extortion-network members. The suspects are believed to be part of an Islamic State of Iraq-led terrorist group that extorts money from innocent people by threatening violence against them. People typically targeted by the extortion network include those who own or work at construction sites and local businesses, although people have been victims at their homes as well. Extortionists then use the stolen money to fund terrorist attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces, officials said.
In other operations:
— Elements of the Ramadi and Habbaniyah special weapons and tactics teams, with U.S. special operations advisors, on Oct. 9 arrested a man suspected of being involved in multiple sniper shootings throughout Iraq’s Anbar province near Ramadi.
A court issued a warrant for the arrest of Abd al-Qadir Afan Qafe after his alleged involvement in the fatal shooting of an Iraqi soldier in 2006 and the shooting of a U.S. soldier near the Ramadi library Sept. 30. Most of the recent shootings took place during reconstruction projects for the people of Ramadi. Qafe is believed to be funded by Syrians and allegedly is involved with the terrorist organizations.
— Iraqi and U.S. forces on Oct. 9 detained five suspects in southern Baghdad after soldiers of the 252nd Combined Arms Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, were attacked with anti-armor grenades. The suspects fled the scene on foot. U.S. troops called for the assistance of local Iraqi security forces in searching for the suspects. After a brief search, Iraqi federal police, along with Iraqi soldiers, reported the arrest of the five suspects No U.S. soldiers were injured, and only minor damage to one Humvee was reported.
— Iraqi police and U.S. and Iraqi soldiers on Oct. 7 arrested a senior member of al-Qaida in Iraq and discovered a nearby cache of bomb-making materials near Daquq in Kirkuk province Daquq police led the operation, supported by Iraqi and U.S. soldiers. The detainee, known as Yasser Gafour, is wanted in connection with kidnapping and intimidation of security forces and people throughout southern Kirkuk. The cache consisted of circuit boards, soldering guns, transistors and one pound of explosive material — all associated with the construction of roadside bombs.
— Iraqi soldiers arrested five suspected terrorists in northern Iraq’s Salahuddin province Oct. 4. Those arrested allegedly are contributors behind a central terrorist cell responsible for spreading terrorist propaganda throughout northern Iraq.