al Qaeda’s northern network in the Mosul region continues to take a pounding. Over the weekend, five terrorists, including two “senior-level leaders responsible for planning and funding terrorism” were captured based on tips from the citizens of Tal Afar. Two others were killed in a firefight in Mosul.
Today, the Coalition announced the two killed in Mosul included al Qaeda cell leader Nashwan Mijhim Muslet (aka Abu Tayir or Abu Zaid) and his assistant. Muslet was a particularly charming terrorist, as was his assistant:
His cell was known as the primary beheading cell for Abu Talha, the [former] al Qaeda in Iraq Emir of Mosul…The beheadings were filmed to intimidate the local population of Mosul as well as Iraqi citizens throughout Iraq. Intelligence reports indicate that [Muslet] personally helped Zubayr [the former Emir of Mosul after Talha’s demise] behead three Mosul citizens during one of the videotaped gatherings.
As a senior operational cell leader, Nashwan was chiefly responsible for attacking Iraqi Security and Coalition forces. These attacks consisted of engaging convoys with small arms fire, rocket propelled grenades, IEDs and VBIEDs.
His cell was also responsible for intimidating Mosul citizens through criminal activities. Nashwan’s cell conducted roadblocks, stopping local citizens to extort money from them or to kidnap family members of businessmen or prominent families to ransom them for money.
Nahi Achmed Obeid Sultan (aka Abu Hassan), assistant to Nashwan, was killed during the raid. He was responsible for providing personal security for Nashwan and running the day-to-day operations of the terrorist cell.
The death of Muslet and Sultan highlights the ongoing dismantlement of Abu Talha’s network in northern Iraq. The takedown began in December of 2004 with the arrest of Talha’s deputy, Abu Marwan, which yielded valuable intelligence on the network. The senior members of the network were then methodically hunted down one by one over the course of the year, degrading the network by about 80%, according to Col. Robert Brown. The chart does not even do the assault on Talha’s network any justice, as the information was gathered from open source intelligence, and no doubt there are gaps.
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