Senior al Qaeda in Iraq intel officer killed in Diyala

The ID badge for al Qaeda intelligence chief Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir. also known as Karrar. Click to view.

Multinational Forces Iraq has confirmed it killed a senior intelligence officer of al Qaeda in Iraq’s network in Diyala. Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir, also known as Karrar, was killed during a raid by “Coalition forces” in Khan Bani Sa’ad on February 17. Multinational Forces Iraq uses the generic term Coalition forces to describe Task Force 88, the special operations hunter-killer teams tasked with dismantling al Qaeda in Iraq’s senior leaders and wider network.

Karrar was described as a senior intelligence leader for al Qaeda in Iraq’s network in Baqubah. Karrar facilitated suicide bombing attacks in the Diyala River Valley. This network also has been responsible for attacks in Baghdad, “to include attacks by female suicide bombers.”

Baghdad has seen a rash of females used as bomber recently. On Feb. 1, al Qaeda in Iraq used two mentally disabled women to conduct attacks at markets in Baghdad. The bombs claimed the lives of at least 73 Iraqi civilians and wounded more than 167. The women were later confirmed to have Downs Syndrome. A director at a Baghdad mental hospital was later arrested for recruiting the women for the attacks. On Feb. 17, Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad stopped a female suicide bomber before she could reach her target. A female suicide bomber killed 7 Iraqis and wounded 15 in an attack at a traffic circle in Khan Bani Sa’ad, on Jan. 16.

While Iraqi and US forces have had success denying al Qaeda in Iraq a safe haven in the Diyala region, operations against the terror network continue. On Feb. 9, Multinational Forces Iraq reported al Qaeda’s network in the Miqdadiyah region has been disrupted, and has moved to an unspecified location in Diyala province, along with other al Qaeda regional networks from Tikrit, Tarmiyah, and Baghdad.

Map of Diyala province [PDF]. Click to view.

“Numerous reports indicate members of these networks are associated with al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders operating in Tikrit, Tarmiyah and Baghdad,” , Multinational Forces Iraq noted in a press release. “The network is allegedly responsible for an increase in suicide attacks in the Diyala River Valley and the construction of house-borne improvised explosive devices, anti-aircraft activity and false checkpoints. The region also serves as a key logistics pipeline for terrorists, supplies and information.”

Task Force 88 killed four al Qaeda operatives and detained 10 during a series of raids in the region. Thirteen house-borne improvised explosive devices and multiple weapons caches were found were destroyed during the operation.

While the region has not been named, Multinational Forces Iraq has reported numerous raids against al Qaeda in Iraq’s networks in the Hamrin Mountain region. The Hamrin Mountains, which span Diyala, Salahadin, and Tamin provinces, are believed to be a major fallback position for al Qaeda in Iraq and allied insurgent groups.

US and Iraqi forces launched Operation Iron Harvest in Diyala province on Jan. 9. The operation initially focused on the Miqdadiyah region, but has expanded throughout Diyala province.

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



  • Lokki says:

    This is really getting Lovely. They’re rolling them up faster and faster these days.

  • Steve-o says:

    What’s even more pleasing is KIAs are staying low, don’t know about wounded figures. I expected casualties to be higher during these ops.

  • KnightHawk says:

    Another one bites the dust, nice.

  • JusCruzn says:


  • Andrew R. says:

    That the kill list keeps getting racked up is great. My biggest worry is that we have a little under two years to sufficiently clean out Muqdadiya and Mosul and leave competent security behind. I would breath much more easily if someone were to drop a dime on al Masri and al Douri.

  • Solo says:

    Captured AQ don’t waste much time turning their compadres in. As the Iraqi security forces get better and stronger, the faster the information flow is. I will continue to watch the growing cooperation with the coalition with guarded optimism though. Pray for peace, but keep the arrows at the ready.

  • dmc says:

    Outstanding !

  • Paul says:

    Helping jihadis find paradise. Nobody does it better than the US military! I know of someone we suspect to be part of TF88 or similar…way to go guys!


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