US captures Iraqi people smuggler

02 January 2004
US soldiers in Iraq have captured a man suspected of smuggling Islamist militants into Iraq to fight coalition forces, US military officials said on 2 January. The military named the detained man as Abu Mohammad, who operated mainly in the Al-Anbar province. 'He is believed to be responsible for moving foreign fighters and large sums of cash throughout the area of operations,' the statement said. Abu Mohammad's arrest also led to the detention of three other men at a 'suspected foreign fighter transit point' in Rutbah, some 375 kilometres west of Baghdad.

US forces in Iraq have openly focussed counterinsurgency raids on suspected Islamist militants. On 30 December, US forces killed three men suspected of being members of Ansar al-Islam, a group connected to Al-Qaeda, in the northern city of Mosul.

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