HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621
Title: COALITION FORCES KILL LIKELY SUCCESSOR TO ABU AYYUB AL-MASRI
Release Date: 9/28/2007
Release Number: 07-01-03P
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces positively identified a foreign terrorist killed in an operation Tuesday in Musayyib as a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq member.
Abu Usama al-Tunisi was in the inner leadership circle of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq and was a likely successor to him. Al-Tunisi was the military emir of Baghdad’s southern belt and took over the role of emir of foreign terrorists when al-Masri became the overall leader.
Al-Tunisi facilitated foreign terrorists and helped equip them for improvised explosive device attacks, car-bombing campaigns and suicide attacks throughout Baghdad. Foreign terrorists conduct most of the high profile attacks in Iraq. Over 80 percent of the suicide attacks are conducted by foreign terrorists.
During an operation Sept. 25, Coalition forces targeted al-Tunisi and other al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders. Credible intelligence from several previous operations led Coalition forces to the location of a known al-Qaeda in Iraq meeting and supporting aircraft attacked the time sensitive target. Al-Tunisi and two other terrorists were killed during the attack.
Reports indicate that al-Tunisi was involved in the planning and operation of numerous attacks on Coalition forces and is believed to have operated in Yusufiyah since the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004.
Al-Tunisi, like the other top leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, was not Iraqi. He was Tunisian and had been in Iraq since at least 2004.
“This is one more al-Qaeda in Iraq criminal who will never kill another innocent civilian,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “We will relentlessly pursue all terrorist leaders who threaten Iraqi citizens, their elected government, and Iraqi and Coalition forces.”