October 11th, 2007 04:33 EST
Killed Terrorists Responsible for Imam's Assassination are Positively Identified
BAGHDAD, Iraq " Three of the al-Qaeda in Iraq members killed in a Coalition air strike Wednesday following their assassination of a local Imam have been identified as Abu Rami, Ammar Fadhil Kadhim and Fadil Salman, who is also known as Abu Ra`ad.
Coalition forces killed the three terrorists and ten other criminals west of Baghdad while conducting operations in the area to further disrupt al-Qaeda in Iraq activities. Intelligence reports indicated that, on Wednesday morning, an assassination team, led by Ra`ad, attacked and killed Abu Bilal. Bilal was an Imam who had been preaching anti-al-Qaeda messages in the local mosque.
Intelligence revealed that the assassination team emplaced four improvised explosive devices in and around Abu Bilal`s house. One of the IEDs detonated awakening neighbors sleeping on the roof of the adjacent building. The terrorists also engaged the neighbors by firing a rocket propelled grenade at their house. The attackers then entered Bilal`s house, executed him and wounded his wife. Bilal`s nephew was also present and was able to engage and kill two of the terrorists before they fled the scene.
Following the attack, Coalition surveillance elements positively identified the attackers as they gathered in a field in the vicinity of the attack. Supporting aircraft engaged the armed men, killing 10 terrorists. As the ground force secured the area, they discovered three additional armed men. Supporting aircraft engaged, killing the three terrorists, one of whom was wearing a suicide vest.
All three identified terrorists were known and feared by the locals in the area. Kadhim was a senior al-Qaeda figure in the Abu Ghuraiyb district and is known to have killed both women and children. Numerous weapons and a suicide belt were found among the group of dead terrorists following the air strike.
Cowardly acts against religious leaders and citizens such as this continue to demonstrate that Al-Qaeda in Iraq will not allow people to live in peace, " said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. Iraqi and Coalition forces will make every effort to end al-Qaeda`s campaign to terrorize Iraq citizens. "