Iraqi official says al-Qaeda in Iraq is penetrated, has become an open book

BAGHDAD, Jan 11 (KUNA) — The Interior Ministry announced Friday that al-Qaeda in Iraq has been successfully penetrated by means of a recently formed government security apparatus and is virtually an “open book,” confirming that the sectarian sedition in the country was at the end of its rope.

Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf, director of operations at the Interior Ministry, told KUNA here “we have succeeded in establishing a capable intelligence apparatus to penetrate the al-Qaeda organization in Iraq and all armed groups targeting Iraqi national security.” He said emphatically that the sectarian sedition in Iraq has virtually ended, adding that the new intelligence apparatus is able to achieve its objectives regarding all armed groups operating in Iraq.

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He went on to say that “al-Qaeda is now an open book for us, now that we have succeeded in penetrating it.” Khalaf did not reveal the extent of al-Qaeda’s reach in Iraq but asserted that trained Iraqi security elements currently operate under cover within this terrorist organization which he said will be dismantled soon.

Iraqi security forces had announced during the past 48 hours the arrest of the mastermind behind the second Samarra explosions and the killing of Abu Qataadah al-Saudi (who was one of the most prominent leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq) in a military operation in south-west Samarra.

The joint Iraqi and American forces killed at the end of last month Abu Abdullah al-Zubai, who was the regional commander or “Prince” for al-Qaeda for the region extending from west of Baghdad to the east of Fallujah.

Meanwhile US fighter jets yesterday in coordination with Iraqi forces shelled about 50 strongholds of al-Qaeda in the Arab-Jabbour area south of the capital.

Last month the leader of al-Qaeda in southern Baghdad, known by the name of Muhammad Khalil al-Qargholi, was killed in air strikes coordinated by Iraqi security and US forces south of Baghdad.

In the same month a terrorist leader who went by the name of “Abu Maisara” was killed along with nine of his aides by joint US-Iraqi forces. The US army described him as an adviser to the terrorist leader al-Baghdadi (who also went by the name of Abu Ayyub al-Masri) and his predecessor the notorious Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.