101st Bags Aso Hawleri, Senior Ansar al-Islam Member
U.S. forces in Iraq have captured a senior member of Ansar al-Islam. The capture of Aso Hawleri late last week in the northern city of Mosul has not been public announced. He was taken into custody by soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division. No other details were immediately available.
"I can say no more"
The official said Hawleri is thought to be the third-ranking official in Ansar al-Islam, most of whose leaders were believed to have fled their stronghold in northern Iraq before U.S. forces invaded in March.
Moved to guest lodging in Iran.
U.S. and Kurdish forces destroyed the group’s main base in the early weeks of the war. Ansar had taken control of a slice of the Kurdish-controlled area near the Iranian border, enforcing a version of Islam only slightly less stringent than the Taliban in Afghanistan. Their mountain strongholds were in an area not controlled by Iraqi government forces.
That’s AP speak for "Saddam had no connection to terrorists".
The Kurdish-Arab extremist group carried out suicide bombings, car bombs, assassinations and raids on militiamen and politicians of the secular Kurdish government, killing scores of people over the last two years. U.S. officials say Ansar sent about a dozen people through al-Qaida camps in 1999 and 2000 and experimented with biotoxin ricin in 2002.
It was Ansar that gassed the dog in the video.
In late August, Gen. John Abizaid, commander of all forces in Iraq, told reporters that elements of Ansar al-Islam had migrated south into the Baghdad area, presenting an increased terrorist threat. It remains unclear whether Ansar has played a role in any of the recent terror-style bombings in Iraq, including the Aug. 19 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad that killed 22 people.
Hard to say, car bombers are a dime a dozen.
Ansar’s top leader, Mullah Krekar, was taken into custody in the Netherlands in September 2001 and is now in Norweigan custody, according to U.S. officials.
Well, he’s living in Norway, at any rate.
Posted by: Steve 2003-10-14