Second in command of al-Qaeda in Iraq in custody

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sunday, September 3, 2006

United States and Iraqi forces have captured the al-Qaeda in Iraq's second in command, Hamad Jama al-Saedi. He is also known as Al-Suaidi, Abu Rana and Abu Humam. Officials say that the arrest "dealt a severe blow" to al-Qaeda in Iraq. According to officials, Saedi masterminded the al-Askari shrine bombing which occurred in February.

"We announce today the arrest of the most important al-Qaeda leader after the criminal Abu Ayyub al-Masri [the current leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq]. He's the second man in the organisation. He wanted to use children and women as human shields as our forces attempted to capture him. We continued to track him down [in the Salaheddin province] and then he moved to north of Baquba in mid-June," said Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the National Security Adviser of Iraq.

"This is a very important development. It comes in the wake of [the] killing of Zarqawi and also a number of Zarqawi associates. Deliberate intelligence work both by Iraqi forces and as well as multinational forces have dealt a very severe blow to al Qaeda organization in Iraq," said Barham Salih, the Planning Minister for Iraq.

The arrest was made north of Baquba when forces found Rana hiding inside a building. According to Rubaie, the building was currently in use by some families. No injuries were reported during the arrest.

Forces found information on the location of Saedi when a U.S. airstrike in June killed former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.