Al Qaeda sweep nets 17 after capture of Mr. Iraqi


American forces have executed a series of raids targeting al-Qa'eda members in Iraq, rounding up 17 suspects after the arrest of Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi, one of the terror network's most senior figures.

Details were released of the operation conducted on Saturday in five different locations in Iraq - all largely Sunni areas, where al-Qa'eda is especially active.

Four men were captured in the northern city of Mosul, two in Baghdad and 11 elsewhere.

None was identified by the US military, whose spokesman Lt-Col Christopher Garver, said: "We're achieving a deliberate, systematic disruption in the al-Qa'eda in Iraq network."

The detention of Hadi, 45, who was allegedly en route to Iraq to assume the leadership of al-Qa'eda's network there, has yielded valuable intelligence, according to a Pentagon spokesman.

He said that Hadi, a trusted lieutenant to Osama bin Laden, had "provided information essential to developing our knowledge of al-Qa'eda's organisational structure, operations, communications, finances, logistics and criminal activities".


They add that Hadi was not seized in a state neighbouring Iraq, nor in Pakistan, where he was based.

There are reports that Hadi was seized in Iran. If so, elements in Iran's leadership might have collaborated with the CIA on this occasion. According to this theory, Hadi's activities in an avowedly Sunni terrorist network may have threatened Shia Iran as much as America.

The article does not explain the discrepancy since Iran obviously adjoins Iraq. The timing of the captured suggest that we may have been watching them for a few months before reeling them in. I think the announcement of the Saudi plot was also not a coincidence. The Telegraph appears to be backing away from claims in Sunday's UK papers that Mr. Iraqi was in charge of the 7-7 bombings. They think he at least met with the bombers.


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