Release Date: 9/19/2007
Release Number: 07-01-03P
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces killed an al-Qaeda in Iraq military advisor during an operation Aug. 31 west of Tarmiyah.
Coalition forces conducted a precision operation west of Tarmiyah Aug. 31. The assault force followed a vehicle containing two suspected terrorists and attempted to get the driver to stop. When the driver resisted capture, the assault force fired on the vehicle. Both the driver and the passenger were killed in the operation. Coalition forces later identified one of the men as Abu Yaqub al-Masri.
Al-Masri, who is also known as Zakkariya or Doctor, was a military advisor to al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders in Baghdad and the surrounding belts. He provided guidance and direction for attack planning, coordination and execution.
Intelligence reports indicate al-Masri was directed by senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders to plan attacks that would cultivate sectarian strife. The former al-Qaeda in Iraq military emir of Baghdad, now detained by Coalition forces, described al-Masri as director of the “car bomb division.”
Al-Masri was one of the primary architects behind the Nov. 26 car bombings in Sadr City that killed 181 Iraqi civilians and injured another 247. He also planned major attacks on the bridges in the Rusafa area to isolate the Shi’ite population there.
Al-Masri previously fought against Coalition forces in Afghanistan and is linked to several senior leaders of al-Qaeda.
He was allied with Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, bin Laden’s second-in-command. He was also close to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq killed in a Coalition air strike in June 2006.
“Coalition operations are disrupting and destroying al-Qaeda’s terrorist networks,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesperson. “There is nowhere to hide.”