HVT #6 – al Qaeda’s Emir of Anbar Province Killed

Khalid Mahal, the Emir of Anbar Province, and his aide Nasif Al-Mawla have been killed in operations

muthanna.jpg

The Muthanna Complex and the Thar Thar region, an al Qaeda and insurgent staging area. Click to Enlarge.

Task Force 145, the global hunter-killers of high value al-Qeda targets, is conducting a full court press in Iraq. The Kuwaiti News Agency reports al Qaeda’s Emir in Anbar province, Khalid Mahal, and Nasif Al-Mawla, his aide, were killed during an operation in the Thar Thar region. An American intelligence source will not comment on Mahal’s death but did state “operations are ongoing.”

Regional emirs are essentially military commanders (or senior generals in western terms), and Mahal would have reported directly to the Mujahdeen Shura, al Qaeda’s leadership council in Iraq.

Anbar province is a critical theater for al Qaeda, and al Qaeda has repeated attempted to establish Islamic Emirates in the region. The Thar Thar region is an area where Baathists have settled, and numerous weapons caches were prepositioned in anticipation of the current insurgency. This is an ideal location as it is strategically located near Baghdad, Samarra, Balad, Ramadi and Fallujah. The Jazeera desert region has been the focus of numerous Coalition and Iraqi Army operations over the past year, and the Iraqi Army has been conducting independent operations in this area.

Khalid Mahal’s death marks the 6th High Value Target killed or captured in Iraq in September. Yesterday, Omar al-Farouq, a senior aide to bin Laden and a former operations chief in Southeast Asia was killed in Basra. Muntasir Hamoud Ileiwi al-Jubour, a member of Ansar al-Sunnah’s military Shura, and an as of yet unnamed military commander of the 1920s Revolution Brigades were captured over the weekend. Abu Jaafar al-Liby was killed and Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi was captured earlier this month. Both were members of al Qaeda in Iraq’s Mujahideen Shura. Task Force 145 has some good intelligence on al-qaeda and related jihadists, and is executing its mission.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Tags:

11 Comments

  • Mark says:

    Great roundup Bill

  • C-Low says:

    Sounds like the old Al Ansar guy we captured earlier is singing a very appealing tune. Hopefully we can keep the mementum.

  • ElamBend says:

    There’s that OpTempo again. This is a lot of action in a little time.
    Good intelligence indeed. Could we have a turncoat in their ranks, or could this be apart of the deal with the tribesmen, i.e. part of a broader political solution? I hope so.
    Now about Muqtada…

  • HVT #6 – al-Qaeda’s Emir of Anbar Province Killed

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    Khalid Mahal, the Emir of Anbar Province, and his aide Nasif Al-Mawla have been killed in operations
    Task Force 145, the global hunter-killers of high value al-Qeda targets, is conducting a full court press in Iraq. The …

  • Al-Qaeda’s Emir of Anbar Province Killed

    Khalid Mahal, the Emir of Anbar Province, and his aide Nasif Al-Mawla have been killed in operations.
    Regional emirs are essentially military commanders (or senior generals in western terms), and Mahal would have reported directly to the Mujahd…

  • ECH says:

    The Sunni tribes have got to be proving intel finally. You notice all these captures come after the tribes got together to take on the insurgency. Getting the leader of Ansar al-Sunni and the 1920s Revolutionary Brigades is also a big suprise because we don’t pick up that many top members of the more popular (with Sunnis) insurgent groups.

  • Wally Lind says:

    Keep up the good work guys and gals. Keep plugging away at their hierarchy.

  • Justin B says:

    After we destroyed the training grounds of Afghanistan, how can we dispute that these kind of captures and arrests will decrease the operational effectiveness of Al Qaeda in the long run? You cannot make foot soldiers into generals. Every capture further unravels the network these folks are using and 18 year old Jihadist wanna-bes cannot bring the skill level that these senior operatives have.
    A happy training camp in the desert that teaches Terrorism 101 or the more advanced courses is out of business. These operated openly in 2001 and I cannot imagine that the bombmakers of the new generation or the leaders of the new wave of Al Qaeda can bring the experience and sophistication of the folks that have been doing it for a decade or more.

  • Bill,
    Could similar measures be taken in Baghdad?
    I know the tribal situation is totally different but could anything remotely similar be used?

  • Big Lizards says:

    Another Ribbon Cutting, But Wait. There is more.

    I was looking for more good news from Iraq; believe me, there’s plenty for this post. First from Bill Roggio, al-Qaeda’s “Emir of Anbar” was killed by Task Force 145: Task Force 145, the global hunter-killers of high value al-Qeda…

  • Key al Qaeda figure killed in northern Iraq

    On Monday, Iraqi police sources announced the killing of Saad Tager Al- Rayashi (aka Abu Fad’am), reportedly a leading al Qaeda figure in northern Iraq. Al-Rayashi was killed on Friday in a firefight with Iraqi forces near the Himyariya checkpoint in t…

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis