Senior propagandist, weapons buyer for insurgents is captured
U.S. military officials announced Thursday that last month they captured a senior maker of propaganda and buyer of weapons for an insurgent group called Jaysh al-Mujahideen.
Ahmad Ni’mah Khudayyir Abbas, known as Abu Shihab, was arrested on Oct. 23 after tips led U.S. forces to a safe house in western Baghdad, military officials said. The capture of some senior insurgent leaders is not immediately announced because intelligence services believe they can get more information from a suspect and track any alleged associates.
Abu Shihab started out by recording recruitment and training videos for Jaysh al-Mujahideen, which has ties to al Qaeda in Iraq, U.S. officials allege.
“As his skills and terrorist connections developed, he began directing and coordinating media operations throughout the Baghdad area for Jaysh al-Mujahideen,” according to a Baghdad news release.
“Besides overseeing … media operations, Abu Shihab was responsible for the coordination of weapons, explosive purchases and the distribution of money to different terrorist cells, as well as the official record keeping of the organization’s terrorist activities.”
Abu Shihab got some of his funds, U.S. officials said, by asking Iraqis for donations to a local Baghdad charity; that money would be funneled to Jaysh al-Mujahideen.
“One method of garnering donations from local citizens, according to Abu Shihab, was to stage pictures with children and young adults highlighting the ‘charity’s’ name and logo in the background. The pictures would be shown to the Iraqis to solicit money supposedly in support of youth education and religious study; these donations would then be used to support terrorist operations in the Baghdad area,” the U.S. release alleged.
Jaysh al-Mujahideen also is believed to operate in Mosul, Fallujah and Ramadi, U.S. officials say.