The Bush administratons war on terror continues to make progress.
In this case, republicans and democrats alike can rejoice in the capture of this terrorist:
"Iraqi Forces Arrest No. 2 al-Qaida Leader in Iraq
By ELENA BECATOROS, AP
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Sept. 3) - Authorities on Sunday announced the capture of al-Qaida in Iraq’s No. 2 leader, who they blame for “brutal and merciless” terror operations, including the bombing of a Shiite shrine last winter that touched off months of sectarian bloodletting and pushed Iraq toward civil war.
Across the country, at least 20 Iraqis died in bomb attacks and shootings, and the U.S. military command said two U.S. soldiers and two Marines had been killed.
Tension also rose between Baghdad and the country’s Kurdish north, after the autonomous region’s president threatened secession and ordered the Iraqi national flag be replaced by the Kurdish one.
The arrest a few days ago of Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, has left al-Qaida in Iraq suffering a “serious leadership crisis,” national security adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie said. “Our troops have dealt fatal and painful blows to this organization.”
Al-Saeedi supervised the creation of death squads and ordered assassinations, bombings, kidnappings and attacks on Iraqi police and army checkpoints, al-Rubaie said. “The operations were brutal and merciless.”
Al-Saeedi’s capture “will affect al-Qaida in Iraq and its operations against our people, especially those aimed at inciting sectarian strife,” al-Rubaie said.
Not much is known about al-Saeedi, but al-Rubaie said he was the second most important al-Qaida in Iraq leader after Abu Ayyub al-Masri. Al-Masri is believed to have taken over the group after a U.S. airstrike killed leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi north of Baghdad on June 7.
“This is a very important development,” said Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh on CNN’s “Late Edition.”
“Deliberate intelligence work, both by Iraqi forces as well as the multinational forces, have dealt a very severe blow to al-Qaida organization in Iraq,” Saleh said. “It is also significant because this man is believed to have been responsible for the attack on the shrines in Samarra, which led to the sectarian violence that we have seen.”
The February bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, inflamed tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims and triggered reprisal attacks that have killed hundreds of Iraqis and continue to this day.
Al-Rubaie said al-Saeedi was “directly responsible” for Haitham Sabah Shaker Mohammed al-Badri, the person who carried out the bombing.
A senior coalition official told The Associated Press that coalition forces were involved in al-Saeedi’s arrest, but would not give details on what role they played.
Speaking on condition of anonymity because announcements were being made by Iraqi authorities, the official said al-Saeedi had been arrested along with three other people southwest of Baqouba, a city 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. Al-Zarqawi was killed on the outskirts of Baqouba.
Al-Saeedi “claims to be responsible for more attacks than he can remember” and has been involved in the insurgency almost from its beginning three years ago, the official said.
Al-Rubaie said al-Saeedi gave information that led to the capture or death of 11 other top al-Qaida in Iraq figures and nine lower-level members. He said those arrested included non-Iraqi Arabs, but would not give any further information for security reasons.
The U.S.-led coalition has announced numerous arrests after al-Zarqawi was killed that officials claim have thrown al-Qaida in Iraq into disarray.
But rampant sectarian violence and other attacks have continued.
A bomb exploded at an accessories market in Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad, on Sunday evening, killing four people and wounding 21, including at least one child, the province’s police said.
In Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, gunmen shot three policemen, killing two of them and wounding the third, while elsewhere in the city, a car bomb killed three people, police said.
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The U.S. military command announced that four U.S. troops had been killed - two in a Baghdad explosion on Sunday and two in separate incidents in the volatile Anbar province, one Sunday and one Friday.
Tensions also brewed in the north, after the president of the Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, threatened secession Sunday. On Friday, he had ordered the Iraqi flag to be replaced with the Kurdish one, sparking harsh words in Baghdad.
“If we want to separate, we will do it, without hesitation or fears,” he said during an address to the Kurdish parliament.
The Kurdish region gradually has been gaining more autonomy since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, and Sunni Arabs fear the Kurds are pushing for independence.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued a terse statement saying only the national flag should be hoisted throughout the country.
“The current Iraqi flag is the only one which must be hoisted on each bit of Iraq’s land until a decision is adopted by the parliament according to the constitution,” the statement said.
In other violence across Iraq, according to police:
An overnight mortar attack east of Baghdad killed six people, including two children, and wounded 15.
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in eastern Baghdad killed two policemen and a civilian and wounded three policemen.
A civilian was gunned down and killed in a drive-by shooting in Amarah, 200 miles southeast of Baghdad.
In Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, a suicide car bomb targeting a police patrol killed two policemen and wounded five people.
Associated Press writers Rebecca Santana and Rawya Rageh in Baghdad, and Yahya Barzanji in Irbil contributed to this report."
09/03/06 12:54 EDT