BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi police have captured a close aide to al Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the captive is cooperating with investigators, the U.S. military said Friday. The aide, Umar Baziyani, was seized on May 30. No details were given about where he was captured. He remains in Iraqi police custody and is providing information, U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dan Williams said.
“His capture removes one of Zarqawi’s most valuable officers from his network,” Williams said.
He said Baziyani was wanted in connection with a series of attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq, but gave no details.
Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born militant accused by Washington of supporting al Qaeda, is suspected of being behind a series of large-scale deadly attacks in Iraq, including the recent car bomb assassination of the head of the Iraqi Governing Council.
In March, he was believed to have been behind multiple suicide bomb attacks in Baghdad and Kerbala which killed more than 100 people as they were carrying out religious ceremonies at shrines in both cities.
The U.S. military has put a $10 million price on his head.