Iraqi authorities detained 75-member Islamic State cell
Iraq’s Falcons Intelligence Unit, an adjunct of the Interior Ministry, declared the dismantling of one of the biggest ISIS-affiliated terror networks. Composed of 75 members, the cell was plotting a series of attacks in the Salaheddine province, north of Baghdad.
Security expert Fadel Abu Ragheef confirmed the take down of the terror cell, saying that it was busted in a “qualitative preemptive operation” that prevented the members from achieving their attack plans.
“This network had intended to carry out terrorist operations within Salaheddine. What distinguishes this arrest is that it is proactive and abortive in the sense that the defendants could not carry out their terrorist plot,” he said.
“The network includes 75 terrorist elements, including suicide bombers and administrative officials,” he added.
Separately, intelligence forces also raided and bombed seven ISIS hideouts in Salaheddine.
In a statement, authorities confirmed the destruction of all equipment and assets found at the hideouts.
Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem al-Shummari underscored the army’s preparedness to handover areas cleared from threats to Interior Ministry taskforces.
“There are full preparations within the Defense Ministry to hand over the security file in safe areas and cities to the ministry which will assume the responsibility of internal security,” he said.
Interior Ministry Spokesman Saad Maaen said that the ministry has completed preparations in coordination with joint security units to take hold of the security file in stabilized areas.
Coordination included logistics, field and technical support.
“There is a time schedule for the Federal Police to get full jurisdiction over the security file in four governorates,” Maaen revealed.
This announcement reflects the confidence of official agencies in the improved security situation in Baghdad and other provinces that were considered a hotbed for chaos.
However, the announcement coincided with a series of explosions that targeted a number of Ashoura processions in Baghdad. No one was injured in the attacks.