1st AD raids net suspected organizer of attacks on troops
BAGHDAD, Iraq — 1st Armored Division soldiers raided five houses in Baghdad on Sunday night and early Monday, netting an Iraqi doctor suspected of organizing and carrying out attacks on coalition forces.
The soldiers, from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment and 1st Brigade Reconnaissance Troop, also found an AK-47 assault rifle hidden in a wall, a .45-caliber pistol, documents and tools possibly used for the manufacture of improvised explosive devices.
No soldiers were killed or injured in the raid, which took place in the eastern part of Baghdad. The doctor was turned over to a coalition detention center Monday.
The 60-member scout team initially went to an abandoned house after receiving some intelligence reports. As the soldiers were approaching the house, the unit’s interpreter pointed out a man whom he believed was the doctor, said 1st Lt. Tommy Leslie.
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Pinion pressed the buzzer on the gate, and a man matching the doctor’s description answered the door. Scouts also saw a BMW purportedly belonging to the doctor in the courtyard.
“I knew it was the guy,” Pinion said. “With the car and the [physical] description, it was him. Intel was perfect.”
The man was asked his name and he gave them an alias, but other Iraqis confirmed the man’s true identity.
When asked if there were any weapons in the house, he told them that there was only the .45-caliber pistol.
The remaining residents were asked to wait outside as soldiers searched the house. Scouts made an initial sweep for other people, then made a detailed search for weapons.
Sgt. Anthony Bach was searching one room when he saw loose bricks covering part of a wall.
“I had kind of a movie flashback of people dropping weapons in the wall,” he said. Removing the bricks, he and another soldier looked in and saw something wrapped in a black plastic trash bag. Inside was the AK-47.
Searchers found ammunition magazines, a bandoleer and cleaning kit in the house. Some ammunition was hidden in a Tupperware container at the back of a cabinet.
The doctor later claimed that he had found the almost-new AK-47 and gear on the street.
He was taken into coalition custody. Other residents were allowed back in the house as the team departed.
Two other raids in the past month have netted bomb-making material, a large amount of Iraqi dinars and two large weapons caches, one of which included a flamethrower.