A joint Iraqi-Coalition raid nets Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, a member of the Mujahideen Shura Council the leader of the Omar Brigade
Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi
Iraqi and Coalition forces continue to exploit the intelligence windfall gained after the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi (a.k.a. Abu Humam, Abu Rana), who Iraqi officials are describing as the ‘number 2 al Qaeda leader in Iraq,’ has been captured in a joint Iraqi-U.S. raid. His arrest and subsequent interrogation led to “the capture or death of 11 other top al-Qaida in Iraq figures and nine lower-level members.” This operation was ‘clean,’ as al-Saaedi was captured without the loss of civilian life or damage to property. Task Force 145 is yet again operating in the background to dismantle al Qaeda in Iraq’s leadership.
The designation of al-Saeedi as the number 2 al Qaeda leader in Iraq is certain to cause a backlash of criticism in counterterrorism circles, as al-Saeedi is not a commonly known name. He is not even listed on Evan Kohlmann’s latest AQIZ leadership chart. This is complicated by the fact that Al-Qaeda does not publish their ‘organizational leadership charts’ for obvious security reasons, and the terrorist group does not operate on strict, classical Western leadership models. Al-Qaeda operatives often wear many hats and fill leadership and operational positions as needed. But al-Saeedi is certainly a major player in al Qaeda in Iraq, and his capture should not be diminished over a dispute over a number designation.
Al-Saaedi is a member of the Mujahideen Shura Council, al Qaeda’s blanket organization of extremist jihadi groups designed to legitmize their actions in Iraq. He is also the leader of the Omar Brigade, the unit dedicated to murdering Shiites in order to foment a sectarian civil war. Mohammed at Iraq The Model provides supporting evidence on his relationship to Zarqawi and the Sunni death squads. “Early reports suggested that the terrorist was operating in the Salahaddin/Samarra area but that he later moved to the Baqubah rea not far from the place where Zarqawi was killed,” said Mohammed, ” and above all he was the direct superior of criminal Haitham al-Badri who’s responsible for the Samarra bombing that destroyed the Imam al-Askari shrine.”
The rising sectarian violence threatens to destabilize Iraq and potentially plunge the country into a civil war. Most recently, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has been gunned down, further testing the patience of the Shiites who up to this point have been remarkably restrained considering the waves of violence directed at them. Sistani’s representative may have indeed been killed by rivals in Sadr’s Mahdi Army, however he also would have been a target of the Omar Brigade. The capture of al-Saeedi can go a long way in dismantling this deadly organization.
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