Friday, October 06, 2006

Terrorist linked to al-Qaida in Iraq leader detained

BAGHDAD – Coalition forces detained a former driver and personal assistant of Abu Ayyub al-Masri along with 31 others during a series of 11 raids targeting al-Qaida in Iraq activities in the Baghdad area Sept. 28.

This is the second close associate of Abu Ayyub al-Masri captured in September, also believed to have been one of his personal drivers. Intelligence indicates his participation in the 2005 bombings of the Sheraton and the Al Hamra hotels in Baghdad that killed a total of 16 people and injured 65 others.

Three days after this operation, the Iraqi government released a video of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the al-Qaida in Iraq leader, instructing terrorists on how to build vehicle borne improvised explosive devices from the inside of a tanker truck. Intelligence indicates the suspected terrorist captured was working directly for Abu Ayyub al-Masri when the video was created.

Coalition forces identified and detained the suspected terrorist without incident. Testimony from the Abu Ayyub al-Masri associate detained in Baghdad Sept. 12 led to the capture of this suspected terrorist. Coalition forces recovered multiple weapons to include several IED-ready mortar rounds and other munitions during the raids.Operations by Iraqi and Coalition forces continue to contribute to the disorganization and disruption of al-Qaida in Iraq.

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