Officials Confirm Terrorist Leader's Capture

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2010 - Officials from NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan today confirmed the identity of a Haqqani network leader captured yesterday in Khost province, military officials reported.

Afghan and coalition forces captured the insurgent in the province's Bak district after surrounding his compound there. He is believed responsible for trafficking and emplacing improvised explosive devices. Security forces detained him and two other suspects without incident. Troops also confiscated several automatic weapons, small arms ammunition and drugs.

In other operations yesterday:

-- Afghan and coalition forces thwarted two potential car bombings in Helmand province's Washer district. Tips from local residents led security forces to a route they believed the bombers would be traveling. Forces stopped the first vehicle, detaining one suspect. However, another suspect in the vehicle refused to get out and detonated the bomb, taking his own life. Troops encountered the second vehicle sometime later. Two suspects exited the vehicle and began shooting at security forces. Troops returned fire, wounding one. The other escaped in a nearby field.

-- Afghan and coalition forces captured a Taliban leader active in northern Ghazni and western Wardak provinces during an operation in Wardak. The targeted man conducted IED and ambush operations targeting Afghan and coalition forces. He also intimidated Afghan civilians into not voting. The security force followed intelligence reports to a remote compound in Sayyidabad district to search for the leader.

Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully before moving to clear the building. During initial clearance, an armed insurgent attempted to fire his weapon at the assault force. The assault force responded, killing the insurgent. After the area was secure, the assault force conducted initial questioning before identifying and detaining the leader along with two of his associates. The security force also found multiple automatic weapons and grenades at the scene.

Also yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces targeted Taliban leadership during two operations in southern Afghanistan detaining several suspected insurgents. The forces continued efforts to secure major travel routes during a security operation in Zabul province where the team detained several suspected Taliban members as they targeted a man for placing IEDs along Highway 1 in the Shah Joy district. Highway 1 is a key link connecting many of southern Afghanistan's provinces.

The operation was one of many in the past month focusing on IED operations in the Zabul area. Combined forces shot and killed a key Taliban leader Nov. 21 and detained a key IED cell leader Nov. 22 who also targeted the route. Forces followed leads to a targeted location in the Qalat district where Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully before conducting a search. The security team determined the men would be detained based on initial questioning at the scene.

A separate security team detained two suspects in an IED network in Kandahar province while targeting a suspect associated with several central Kandahar Taliban leaders. Forces followed leads to a targeted location in Kandahar city, where Afghan forces conducted a callout before conducting a search.

The security team determined the men would be detained based on initial questioning at the scene. No women or children were injured or detained during these operations, and no shots were fired.

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