Monday, September 10, 2007

Senior Iranian affiliate apprehended in Iraq

The BBC doesn't seem to have got round to adding this to their news pages yet, so I thought I'd mention it. Bill Roggio reports:

As Coalition and Iraqi forces maintain the pressure on al Qaeda's network throughout Iraq, the Shia terror organizations are also being hit hard. Over the past several days, Iraqi and Coalition forces have conducted numerous raids against the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups known as the Special Groups. On September 5, Coalition forces announced the capture of "a highly-sought individual suspected of being an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) affiliate" during a raid in Karbala.

The Special Groups agent, who has not been identified, is "suspected of coordinating with high-level IRGC-QF officers for the transportation of multiple Iraqis to Iran for terrorist training at IRGC-QF training camps." The suspect also serves as a logistical operative and "is closely linked to individuals at the highest levels of the IRGC-QF. Coalition forces are still assessing his possible connection to the Special Groups." Documents, photographs, communications equipment, and computers were found during the raid on his home.

Information obtained from this latest raid likely will shed more light on the leadership and organization of the Special Groups, the identity of their Iranian Qods Force handlers, and their current plans in Iraq. In the past, the capture of senior Special Groups operatives has led to a wealth of information on the Iranian network. The most significant operation occurred in the spring of 2007, when the US captured Ali Mussa Daqduq.

Daqduq is a senior Hezbollah operative who was tasked by Iran to organize the Special Groups and "rogue" Mahdi Army cells along the lines of Lebanese Hezbollah. Documents seized during Daqduq's capture, along with statements made during interrogations and information given by other captured Special Groups operatives confirmed Iran's significant role in the Shia terrorist insurgency.

Recently, Muqtada al Sadr admitted in an interview with The Independent that his Mahdi Army trained and received guidance from Hezbollah. Sadr's aide later denied the interview took place. Lebanese Hezbollah is essentially the foreign wing of Iran's Qods Force.
Via In From The Cold.

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