U.S. Army-Marine task force detains 'key Ramadi-based insurgent leaders'
January 24, 2005
RAMADI, Iraq — A joint task force of U.S. soldiers and Marines has detained several “key Ramadi-based insurgent leaders,” including leaders of a bomb-making cell and an associate of suspected terror ringleader of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, officials said Saturday.
According to 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division officials, the 10 men were captured over a series of raids completed last week. The raids were conducted by members of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry; 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry; and 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, all of which operate in and around Ramadi.
The captured leaders include a man identified by the military as Abed al Sattar Ismael, allegedly the leader of “multiple improvised explosive device manufacturing terror cells,” according to a military statement.
Ismael’s terror cells included more than 60 fighters, operating in 13 cells “responsible for attacks… including mortar attacks, suicide bomb attacks and roadside bombs,” the statement read.
U.S. forces said they also captured Ismael’s second in command, a man they described as responsible for transporting militants to and from attacks and providing vehicles and weapons to the terror cells.
Officials said the forces also detained several members of a terror group known as the 1920th Revolutionary Battalion, a group military intelligence officials say is comprised of former Baath Party members and the Iraqi military.
The raids also netted a man identified as Ismael Jeddan, an alleged associate of al-Zarqawi, often described as the most wanted man in Iraq. U.S. officials have a $25 million bounty on al-Zarqawi’s head.
2nd Brigade officials said last week’s raids also netted several members of kidnapping rings who target foreigners or Iraqis working with U.S. forces.
More than 4,200 soldiers from 2nd Brigade and other associated units — including a field artillery unit and an engineer unit — deployed from South Korea to Iraq last fall and have been operating under command of the 1st Marine Division since arriving.