Monday, April 16, 2007

Bill Roggio's Daily Iraq Report 4-16-07

Good and bad news from Bill Roggio on Iraq, noting that U.S. and Iraqi raids over the past 48 hrs have resulted in the capture of 129 insurgents, including a number of Al Qaeda members.

Iraqi security forces, with the help of the Anbar Salvation Council, killed Ahmad Hadid, the leader "Islamic State in Fallujah," and Ibrahim Keitan, Al-Qaeda's military coordinator in Al-Anbar. An American military intelligence official tells us Ahmad Hadid is the brother of the notorious Omar Hadid, Abu Musab al Zarqawi's right hand man in Fallujah until he was killed in Novermber of 2004. Thirty-seven al Qaeda were captured in Fallujah, 6 in Amiriya and another 11 were captured along the Euphrates River Valley.

Coalition raids in Taji, Mosul, Baghdad and Amiriya netted 17 al Qaeda, including the "al-Qaeda emir of Rusafa and former vehicle-borne improvised explosive device cell leader." In Basra, British troops killed 8 members of two roadside bomb teams as they were in the process of planting IEDs. On March 11, Iraqi police captured 2 members of a cell thought to be "responsible for planning and building improvised explosive devices containing chlorine."

On the bad news, Al Qaeda also carried out two successful suicide bombings.

A suicide car bomber murdered 47 Iraqis and wounded scores more just several hundred yards from the Imam Ali mosque in Karbala, while another suicide car bomber destroyed a bridge in Baghdad. The Jadriyah bridge, which crosses the Tigris river, is the second bridge attacked by al Qaeda in Iraq just this week. Ten were killed and fifteen wounded in the Jadriyah bridge bombing.

Under the readership of Abu Ayyub al-Masri Al Qaeda in Iraq is proving agile in its ability to switch targets in Baghdad while continuing to strike at sectarian fault lines outside the capital. Prior to this week, al Qaeda's last major bombing inside Baghdad was in a Shia market on March 29. With security ramping up inside Baghdad, markets appear to have become tougher targets. The attack on the bridges will at the least increase the security, and may force the closure their closure.

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