BAGHDAD, Iraq – The leader of a militant group involved in beheading hostages and other attacks has been arrested and the group was broken up, Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said Monday.
Allawi identified the group as Jaish Muhammad, Arabic for Muhammad’s Army. The group “has been arrested … We arrested their leader,” Allawi said, identifying him as Moayad Ahmed Yasseen, also known as Abu Ahmed.
Muhammad’s Army was known to have cooperated with Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al-Qaida and Saddam loyalists and was responsible for killing and beheading a number of Iraqis, Arabs and foreigners in Iraq, Allawi said.
“They were planning to destroy Fallujah…by blowing up important positions,” he said. “They have extensions abroad that I cannot talk about now.” Allawi did not say how many members of the group were captured or what kidnappings the group has been involved in.
The militant group was arrested during U.S.-led military operations in Fallujah, the television station said.
Allawi also said officials had arrested members of another group, whom he did not name. He said they have been detained and will be interrogated.
The U.S. military has said in the past that Jaish Mohammed appears to be an umbrella group for former intelligence agents, army, security officials, and Baath Party members.