U.S.-led coalition forces have captured two alleged leaders of the insurgent group al Qaeda in Iraq, including a man suspected in the death of an Egyptian envoy, an American military spokesman said Thursday.
Troops caught Khamis Farhan Khalaf abd al Fahdawi, also known as Abu Seba, on Saturday in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, after intelligence led them there.
Abu Seba reportedly is a senior lieutenant for` Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and is suspected in this month’s attacks on Bahraini and Pakistani diplomats and the killing of Ihab al-Sherif, who came to Iraq to be Egypt’s ambassador.
Al-Sherif was kidnapped in Baghdad on July 2, and the Egyptian government confirmed his death five days later.
In addition, forces detained Abdulla Ibrahim Muhammed Hassan al Shadad, also known as Abu Abdul Aziz, on Sunday in Baghdad. He reportedly is the leader of al-Zarqawi’s operations in the Iraqi capital and a key officer for the insurgent group.
The U.S. spokesman said the arrests and recent raids yielded evidence and equipment implicating the men in al-Zarqawi’s leadership cell.
Al-Zarqawi’s group has claimed responsibility for car bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq.
The United States has posted a $25 million reward for information leading to al-Zarqawi’s capture. He has been described as the most wanted man in Iraq