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September 7, 2007
Iranian Qods Force Member Captured in Karbala
Bill Roggio is reporting from Iraq that we have captured a senior member of the Revolutionary Guards Qods Force in a sweep against Shia terror groups backed by Tehran:
As Coalition and Iraqi forces maintain the pressure on al Qaeda's network throughout Iraq, the Shia terror organizations are also being hit hard. Over the past several days, Iraqi and Coalition forces have conducted numerous raids against the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups known as the Special Groups. On September 5, Coalition forces announced the capture of "a highly-sought individual suspected of being an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) affiliate" during a raid in Karbala. The Iranians have zero motivation to stop meddling in Iraq. How and where we can put pressure on the Iranians to stop this activity short of bombing Rev Guard bases I just don't know. It's clear that these actions by the Iranians is unacceptable. And besides carrying out targeted sweeps that arrest those who are already in Iraq, there doesn't appear anything else that we are willing to do.
The Special Groups agent, who has not been identified, is "suspected of coordinating with high-level IRGC-QF officers for the transportation of multiple Iraqis to Iran for terrorist training at IRGC-QF training camps." The suspect also serves as a logistical operative and "is closely linked to individuals at the highest levels of the IRGC-QF. Coalition forces are still assessing his possible connection to the Special Groups." Documents, photographs, communications equipment, and computers were found during the raid on his home.
Information obtained from this latest raid likely will shed more light on the leadership and organization of the Special Groups, the identity of their Iranian Qods Force handlers, and their current plans in Iraq. In the past, the capture of senior Special Groups operatives has led to a wealth of information on the Iranian network. The most significant operation occurred in the spring of 2007, when the US captured Ali Mussa Daqduq.
The sweeps will not keep others from coming which begs the question; do we acqueisce in Iran's presumed role as trainer and enabler of violent militias who are not loyal to the central government or do make an attempt to halt this clandestine activity?
The answer to that question will probably be the difference between peace and war with Iran.