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Senior Al-Qaida Leader Captured In Mosul, Iraq December 20, 2006

Posted by notapundit in Military News, US News, World News.
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BAGHDAD (AP)–U.S.-led forces captured a senior al-Qaida leader who was responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths and housed foreign fighters who carried out suicide bombings, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

The leader, who wasn’t identified, was arrested in a raid in Mosul on Dec. 14, the military said.

“The terrorist leader was attempting to flee from the location when Coalition Forces chased him across a street and detained him,” the military statement said.

It said the suspect served as al-Qaida’s military chief in Mosul in 2005, and then took up the same job in western Baghdad.

“During that time, he coordinated vehicle borne improvised explosives device attacks and kidnap for ransom operations in Baghdad,” the military said. It cited reports that said he organized an attempt to shoot down a U.S. military helicopter in May this year.

“After a few months he fled Baghdad due to Coalition Forces closing in on him,” the statement added.

The military said the capture would lead them closer to Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who took over as leader of al-Qaida in Iraq after his predecessor, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June.

Mouwafak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi government’s national security adviser, said this month that 60% of al-Qaida in Iraq’s leadership has now been captured or killed.

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