U.S. troops capture al-Qaida financier near Baghdad

By Xinhua

Baghdad : U.S. and Iraqi troops has detained an al-Qaida financier who is suspected of receiving 100 million U.S. dollars from al-Qaida sympathizers, the U.S. military said on Thursday.

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During an operation in Baghdad’s central neighborhood of Kindi on Tuesday, the troops detained the suspect who is “believed to have received $100,000,000 this summer from terrorist supporters who cross the Iraqi border illegally or fly into Iraq from Italy, Syria and Egypt,” the U.S. military said in a statement.

The detainee is suspected of handing over 50,000 dollars a month to al-Qaida “using his leather merchant business as a front to smuggle weapons and explosives from surrounding countries,”according to the statement.

It added that intelligence reports said that the suspect has stores in Iraq’s Fallujah, Syria and Jordan respectively.

In addition, the financier believed to be involved in purchasing explosives that were used in destroying the golden dome of one of the most revered Shiite shrines in Samarra in 2006.

He was also suspected of involving in another attack on June 13 this year, which destroyed the two marinates of the al-Askari shrine, according to the statement.

The two attacks were widely seen as the thin end of the wedge that sparked Iraq’s sectarian strife that killed dozens of thousands of Iraqis.

The suspect is also wanted to the U.S. forces for allegedly shooting a U.S. patrol in Baghdad’s western district of Mansour in April, which killed three U.S. soldiers and wounded another, said the statement.