Saturday, August 16, 2008

Iraq: Awakening Council leader arrested - for terrorism?

al-Qaeda infiltrator of US funded Sunni group arrested.

In Baghdad, Iraqi soldiers Saturday arrested the head of a U.S.-funded Sunni group who was accused of "supporting terrorism" in a series of raids in the western Baghdad district of Jihad.

An Iraqi officer, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, identified the suspect as Tahir Abdullah al-Hamdani, the head of the so-called awakening council in Jihad.

The U.S. military confirmed that a leader of the group was arrested but declined to identify him or give more details.

American commanders have said the Sunni revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq was a key factor in a sharp decline in violence over the past year, but the movement has been troubled by friendly fire incidents and concerns about infiltration.