US names al Qaeda emir of Mosul killed during raid

The US military has identified al Qaeda’s leader of Mosul who was killed during a targeted raid in the northern city on June 24.

Multinational Forces Iraq named Abu Khalaf as al Qaeda’s emir, or leader, of Mosul who was killed during a raid by Task Force 88, the hunter-killer teams assigned to disrupt terrorist command networks in Iraq and elsewhere. Khalaf was killed by US forces as he reached for a gun and his associate attempted to detonate his vest.

Khalaf “rose through the ranks to become the overall emir of Mosul,” the US military stated. He served as al Qaeda’s military commander in Mosul during the rule of former al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

He would meet with senior al Qaeda leaders in Mosul and the Jazeera desert “coordinating and ordering dozens of attacks against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi forces and Coalition forces.”

Khalaf had close ties to foreign al Qaeda terrorists, according to his associates in custody. “Khalaf traveled much of the time with foreigners,” the US military said. Abu Khalud, his aide wearing the suicide vest at the time of his death, was a Syrian national.

The US military has decimated al Qaeda’s command network in Mosul since major operations kicked off early this year.

Al Qaeda executes attacks in Mosul, Anbar

While al Qaeda has suffered a major blow with the death of Abu Khalaf, the organization still maintains the capacity to conduct large-scale attacks. Al Qaeda pulled off two major attacks today in Mosul and the city of Karmah in eastern Anbar province.

Eighteen Iraqis were killed and 80 wounded in a car bomb attack between a market and the provincial center in central Mosul. One policeman and 17 civilians were killed in the bombing. The governor of Ninewa province was visiting nearby during the time of the attack.

Three US soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Mosul on June 24. That same day, two Iraqis were killed and 70 wounded in a separate roadside bomb attack.

In Anbar province, al Qaeda struck at a tribal meeting in the city of Karmah. Eighteen people have been reported killed and 17 wounded. Three US Marines and two senior tribal leaders were among those killed in the attack.

The meeting was between leaders of the Zuba’a tribe and the Anbar Awakening movement. The Zuba’a tribe was one of the “sinister six” tribes in Anbar province that signed on to support al Qaeda in Iraq and its puppet Islamic State of Iraq.

The Zuba’a tribe fought an internal civil war over the decision to join al Qaeda in Iraq. The pro-American wing won out after a brutal campaign that included numerous clashes and the near assassination of Salam al-Zuba’i, one of Iraq’s Deputy Prime Ministers.

Task Force 88 killed Muhammad Sulayman Shunaythir al Zuba’i, also as known as Abu Abdullah, the leader of al Qaeda’s network in the Karmah region in November 2007. Abu Abdullah was the leader of the Zuba’a who signed on to al Qaeda in Iraq.

Anbar slated to go under Iraqi control

The attack in Karmah comes as Multinational Forces Iraq is preparing to turn over control of the province this weekend. Designating Anbar as Provincial Iraqi Control puts the Iraqi security forces in the lead of security operations. US forces would be in an “overwatch,” or supporting role to back up Iraqi forces as needed.

Anbar is the tenth of Iraq’s 18 provinces to go under Iraqi control. It was once thought Anbar would be the last to transition to Iraq control. Anbar was written off as “lost” to al Qaeda in Iraq in late 2006. But the rise of the Anbar Awakening, the groups of tribes and former insurgent groups opposed to al Qaeda’s theocratic rule, turned the tide in early 2007 and made Anbar one of Iraq’s most peaceful provinces.

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



  • Anti-Herman says:

    There seems to have been a spike in casualties this week and they are not in Mosul.
    Any insights?

  • Neo says:

    I was looking through the civilian casualty locations for the last few months. JAM associated violence is going down the last few weeks. Al Qaeda related violence is up a bit over the last few months. It’s not entirely unexpected considering how thinly things are spread. Part of the cost of making so many gains in the south is to leave the north in need of more troops. I’m not complaining, actually I’m impressed that they have held things together as well as they have.

  • BobbyD says:

    Also, I think a vast majority of the casualties this week in particular were at some sort of meeting with locals. It appears Al Qaeda has picked up on a week spot in our security during those things. Im sure adjustments are already being made.

  • SoldiersDad says:

    “There seems to have been a spike in casualties this week”
    Non-explosives related reported Iraqi violent deaths are running between 5 and 6 per day for all of Iraq. Down from 9 last month.
    Explosives related death is running around 9/day, up from 6 last month. 3 double digit suicide bombings and 2 double digit car bombings account for 50% of explosive deaths this month.
    In May there were 23 Fatality Producing Suicide/Car Bombs which accounted for 134 deaths. So far this month there have been 21 fatality producing Suicide/Car Bombs accounting for 159 Iraqi deaths.
    So the short answer…in the broader based measures of violence…..murders…wounded…number of sig acts…etc..there has been no spike.

  • American Thinker Fan says:

    I was referring to our casualties. Yesterday 3 Marines were killed in Abnar. There were some last month. We haven’t seen any in months in Abnar The others are south of Baghdad.
    I understand the Mosul area or in Madhi land. Perhaps it’s mop up or these guys are dispersed from Mosul.

  • American Thinker Fan says:

    What is safer?
    Washington DC

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 06/27/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram