Al Qaeda in Iraq 2nd in Command Arrested
Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, a/k/a Abu Humam or Abu Rana, the number two man in al Qaeda in Iraq’s chain of command has been arrested.
Iraqi forces have arrested the second most senior operative in al-Qaida in Iraq, and the group now suffers from a “serious leadership crisis,” the national security adviser said Sunday. Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, was arrested a few days ago, Mouwaffak al-Rubaie said, adding that his arrest also led to the capture or death of 11 other top al-Qaida in Iraq figures and nine lower-level members. He was the second most important al-Qaida in Iraq leader after Abu Ayyub al-Masri, al-Rubaie said. Al-Masri succeeded Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike north of Baghdad on June 7.
“We believe that al-Qaida in Iraq suffers from a serious leadership crisis. Our troops have dealt fatal and painful blows to this organization,” the security adviser said.
Al-Saeedi was “directly responsible” for the person who carried out the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, al-Rubaie added. The bombing inflamed tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims and triggered reprisal attacks that continue still. “Al-Saeedi carried out al-Qaida’s policies in Iraq and the orders of the slain al-Zarqawi to incite sectarian violence in the country, through attempting to start a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis — but their wishes did not materialize,” al-Rubaie added.
Dead or arrested terrorists are always good news. Still, I would think we’d have learned by now to stop claiming that it will make a huge difference in the group’s ability to wreak mayhem. The level of killing did not drop after Zarqawi’s death and, if al-Saeedi has been in custody “a few days,” it certainly does not seem to have had any effect on the level of violence.