Wire: Iraqi Police Nab 14 al-Qaida Suspects
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2009 -- Newswire services today reported that Iraqi security forces arrested 14 suspected al-Qaida members in western and northern Iraq, including three who were formerly detained by U.S. troops in the country, local police officials said Thursday.
The Assocaited Press said six men arrested in Fallujah were wanted for allegedly planning attacks in and around the city, which is located 40 miles west of Baghdad, said the city's police chief, Col. Mahmoud al-Isawi.
"The group is believed to be behind many murders and attacks against the citizens and the police forces," al-Isawi told AP, without specifying when the arrests or the attacks took place.
Police detained the other eight suspects, one of whom was a woman, during a raid Tuesday on a suspected militant hideout in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, the police chief in the city, Jamal Taher, told the AP. Police confiscated roadside bombs and car bombs during the raid, he said.
Two of the men in Fallujah and one in Kirkuk were previously detained by U.S. forces but were subsequently released, said the two police chiefs.(Report from newswire sources.)
As part of an agreement between the two countries that took effect Jan. 1, Iraqi authorities have begun reviewing the cases of U.S. detainees to decide whether to free them or press charges. Thousands have been freed because there is little or no evidence against them, but some are suspected of having returned to violence.
The two men in Fallujah were suspected by the U.S. of having links with insurgents but were released in July for lack of evidence, said al-Isawi. They had been held at Camp Bucca, a military base in southern Iraq that served as the largest U.S. detention site in Iraq before it was closed down last month, said al-Isawi.