Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  

Senior Zarqawi aide captured in Baghdad

US-led forces in Iraq have captured a senior member of the al-Qaeda linked network led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a raid in Baghdad, the Iraqi government said yesterday.

It said Fadil Hussain Ahmed al-Kurdi was captured along with two other suspected insurgents. It said Kurdi, a 26-year-old Iraqi Kurd also known as Ridha, was the brother of Umar Baziyani, a Zarqawi lieutenant captured in May.

"Ridha was responsible for facilitating communications between al-Qaeda and the Zarqawi terror networks as well as coordinating the movement of terrorists in and out of Iraq," a government statement said.

"Both Ridha and Umar Baziyani remain in detention and are being question by Iraqi and coalition forces."

The government did not say when the arrests were made. US forces said three weeks ago they had seized unidentified "transnational terrorists" in Baghdad.