Iraqi Forces Arrest Top al-Qaeda Lieutenant

Iraq forces arrest top al-Qaeda lieutenant (USA Today)

Photo: Alleged insurgent Sami Muhammad Ali Said al-Jaaf was arrested during a Jan. 15 raid in Baghdad.Iraqi security forces have arrested the “most lethal” top lieutenant of al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq — a man allegedly behind 75% of the car bombings in Baghdad since the U.S.-led invasion, the prime minister’s office said Monday. Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, also known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi, was arrested during a Jan. 15 raid in Baghdad, a government statement said Monday. Two other militants linked to Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s terror group also have been arrested, authorities announced Monday.

Al-Jaaf was “the most lethal of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s lieutenants,” the statement said. Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi heads al-Qaeda in Iraq, the terror network’s local affiliate. The group is behind many of the car bombings, beheadings, assassinations and other attacks driving the insurgency in Iraq. Al-Jaaf was responsible for 32 car bombing attacks that killed hundreds of Iraqis, the statement said. “Abu Omar al-Kurdi claims responsibility for some of the most ruthless attacks on Iraqi police forces and police stations,” said Thaer al-Naqib, spokesman for interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. The statement said al-Jaaf “confessed to building approximately 75% of the car bombs used in attacks in Baghdad since March 2003,” al-Naqib said.


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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.