U.S. Says It Arrested Trainer Of Bombers

March 2nd, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.S. Says It Arrested Trainer Of Bombers

Philadelphia Inquirer
March 2, 2008 The military said the man taught women, including his wife, to be bombers in Iraq.
By Patrick Quinn, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - The U.S. military announced the capture yesterday of an insurgent leader who was recruiting and training women, including his wife, to wrap themselves in explosives and blow themselves up, the latest sign that al-Qaeda in Iraq plans to keep using women to carry out suicide attacks.
In southern Iraq, a British airman was killed in a rocket attack on a base near Basra late Friday, said Capt. Finn Aldrich, a British military spokesman.
The U.S. military said it had killed six insurgents and detained 13 suspects Friday and yesterday during operations against al-Qaeda in Iraq in central and northern Iraq.
In another development, the military said yesterday it had captured a sniper instructor in Baghdad who had been trained by Iranians. Iran has denied such claims in the past.
On the eve of a visit to Iraq by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country's state news agency reported that he rejected claims that Iran was fueling violence in Iraq.
In the case of the suicide vests, the military said the man was arrested Thursday in an operation near the town of Kan Bani Sad, north of Baghdad in Diyala province, still an al-Qaeda hotbed.
"The ringleader was a man trying to recruit women to carry out SVEST [suicide vest] bombings. The cell leader used his wife and another woman to act as carriers of his next SVEST attack," the military said.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq has recently used women as bombers more frequently, with six attacks or attempted attacks this year, according to U.S. military statistics. That is out of a total of 19 attacks by women since the U.S.-led invasion began in 2003, Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said at a recent briefing.
The latest included two by women with histories of psychiatric treatment who killed about 100 people at pet markets in Baghdad on Feb. 1.
It remains unclear whether al-Qaeda has begun using women because it has been unable to recruit insurgents or because they are more difficult to detect.
The Iranian-trained sniper instructor was arrested along with three other men, and the military said he was also an expert in the use of bombs known as explosively formed penetrators that are designed to defeat the armor in American military vehicles, including tanks. Most of those bombs are designed and often built in neighboring Iran.
"He reportedly coordinated and facilitated Special Groups militia training in Iran on the use of explosively formed penetrators. Reports indicate he was an associate of several Special Groups criminal leaders involved in attacks on Iraqi and Coalition forces," the military said.
Special groups usually refers to Shiite extremists, mostly those that have broken away from Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.
"Iraqi and coalition forces will continue to target militia groups and criminals who commit hostile acts, dishonoring al-Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr's cease-fire pledge and undermining security and stability in Iraq," said Cmdr. Scott Rye, a military spokesman, referring to Sadr with an honorific title.
The cease-fire, recently extended six months, has been a key element in a three-piece puzzle that has come together to help reduce violence since mid-2007. The two other factors are the influx of thousands of U.S. troops last summer, and creation of Sunni-dominated groups funded by the U.S. military to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq, the most extremist of the Sunni insurgents.
Although violence has declined in the last six months, attacks have not stopped. Suicide bombers and car bombs are mainly responsible for civilian deaths, while roadside bombs and Iranian-designed penetrators are used against the U.S. and Iraqi military.
There was violence in Iraq again yesterday.
Police Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir in Kirkuk said two separate attacks on buses of Shiites killed five people and wounded 11.
The first attack occurred near the town of Toz Khirmato, 110 miles northeast of Baghdad and killed two people, he said. The bus was coming from Mosul, he said.
The second attack was in the village of Udaim, 70 miles north of Baghdad and killed three, Qadir said.

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