"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Al-Qaeda attack networks impaired (Bayji, Kirkuk)

From MNF-I.

Iraqi and Coalition forces killed two terrorists and detained 13 suspected terrorists during operations to degrade al-Qaeda in Iraq attack capabilities around the country Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, Coalition forces captured an alleged AQI leader in Bayji, about 160 km south of Mosul. The alleged leader is believed to oversee all terrorist attacks in Bayji, including an attack Sep. 8 that killed two Iraqi policemen and wounded another four. During a separate operation in Bayji on Thursday, Coalition forces captured a wanted man suspected of working in the AQI bombing network that extends through the Tigris River Valley. Five additional suspects were detained in the two operations.

A man who identified himself to Iraqi and Coalition forces as the leader of AQI bombing operations in Kirkuk was captured Friday in the city. As part of his self-proclaimed role of overseeing bombing attacks, the man is assessed to be responsible for suicide and roadside bombings from Kirkuk to Hawijah. He also reportedly has ties to senior AQI leadership in Tamim province.

In a remote area near Qara Tappa, about 130 km northeast of Baghdad, Coalition forces targeted two terrorists Friday, one of whom is a known AQI cell leader in the area. Surveillance teams positively identified the two terrorists and called for supporting aircraft to engage them. Both terrorists were killed. The cell leader was part of an AQI network in the Hamrin Mountains region that operates terrorist training camps and recruits female suicide bombers to conduct attacks against civilians and security forces.

A targeted individual believed to be part of the AQI network that brings foreign terrorists into Iraq identified himself to Coalition forces during an operation south of Baghdad Friday. Two additional suspected terrorists were detained.

Coalition forces in Ramadi, about 100 km west of Baghdad, targeted members of an extremist group aligned with AQI and detained five suspected terrorists Friday.

Articles like these are the predominate news coming out of Iraq these days. An interesting change in this article is AQI members are coming forward and identifying themselves to Coalition and US forces. One has to wonder how low morale is among AQI members to freely offer themselves up to Coalition and Iraqi forces knowing they will very well spend a long time in prison. These self-disclosures are not indicative of an organization which is waiting in the wings until a US withdraw.

It appears the back of AQI is broken by the surge of US and Iraqi forces last year, the increase in ISF capabilities, and the coming provincial elections. While all these factors brought about the defeat of AQI, key leaders turning themselves in will bring the distruction of the entire network in Iraq.

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