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Joint security teams killed two and arrested 21 suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) terrorists today during a series of coordinated security operations conducted in Mosul to weaken the terrorist network and prevent future attacks.
Throughout the northern Iraqi city, ISF from Nineveh Province and U.S. advisors searched several buildings in order to locate and arrest suspected AQI members believed to be working within the top echelons of the terrorist group. Accurate intelligence collected prior to the operation led the security teams to the buildings.
Initial reports indicate that the AQI wali of northern Iraq was killed, while those arrested included the terrorist group’s administration emir for northern Iraq, an advisor to the sharia emir of northern Iraq and the detainee affairs emir of northern Iraq.
Suspected terrorist activities conducted by AQI range from extorting and kidnapping Iraqis to conducting assassinations and improvised explosive device attacks throughout the country.
During one security operation conducted in northeastern Mosul, a suspected AQI leader was killed after he refused to exit a building and opened fire on a security team of ISF and U.S. advisors. Prior to the exchange of gunfire, the security team instructed those inside the building to exit. Except for one suspect, all individuals within the building exited and were led to a safe area for questioning.
The suspect, Abu Na’im al-Afri, refused to exit the building and began shooting at the security team. In self-defense, the security team fired back and killed al-Afri, who is an alleged AQI wali of northern Iraq and is responsible for overseeing the movement of explosives and suicide bombers traveling into Iraq.
At a different location in northeastern Mosul, intelligence reports led ISF and U.S. advisors searched a residential building where a suspected AQI leader lived. As the security team entered the building, an individual armed with a pistol raised his weapon as if to shoot the security team members. Perceiving a direct threat to the safety of the team, a security team member shot and killed the gunman. The identity of the gunman has not yet been confirmed. Based on evidence found on the premises, two suspected criminal accomplices of the alleged AQI leader were arrested without incident.
Today’s security operations targeting AQI leadership in northern Iraq will likely disrupt the planning of future terrorist operations, ultimately enhancing the safety of all citizens in the country.