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Posted: 10/8/2004 2:47:56 AM EST
October 8, 2004
Release Number: 04-10-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COALITION FORCES STRIKE AIF SAFE HOUSE IN FALLUJAH (link)

FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Multi-National Force-Iraq struck an Abu Musab al-Zarqawi safe house in northwest Fallujah on the morning of October 8. Credible intelligence sources confirmed Zarqawi leaders were meeting at the safe house at the time of the strike. The precision strike occurred at 1:15 a.m. Central Baghdad Time. Intelligence sources confirmed that the safe house was being used by the group to meet and plan attacks against Iraqi civilians, Iraqi Security Forces, and Multi-National Forces.

Efforts to rid Fallujah of foreign terrorists and their supporters continue to make progress. This strike contributed to reducing the capability of the Zarqawi network and increasing safety and security throughout Iraq. The Iraqi Government with support of its Multi-National partners have made great strides in dismantling the Zarqawi terrorist network and establishing a safer Iraq.

Coalition strikes on Abu Musab al Zarqawi in the last month have killed several key Zarqawi leaders, delivering a significant blow to the terrorist network. Strikes in September resulted in the death of key Zarqawi lieutenants Mohammed al-Lubnani, and Zarqawi spiritual advisor Abu Anas al-Shami. Al-Shami was the number two man in the network.

Since September, Multi-National forces conducted more than a dozen precision strikes against Zarqawi operational sites inside Fallujah and in nearby locations. A large percentage of Abu Musab al Zarqawi's top leadership have been killed or captured following an intense and relentless campaign of strikes in the last month against the terrorist.

One strike conducted on Sept. 16 destroyed a planning cell that included terrorists assembling to prepare a large-scale attack against Iraqi and Multi-National forces. Included in the cell were several suicide bombers.

Strikes during September destroyed several Zarqawi meeting sites, safe houses and training locations, resulting in the destruction of numerous weapons, to include large stockpiles of explosives, vehicles rigged to be bombs and the capture of numerous Zarqawi associates.

The intelligence that led to the success of these strikes is directly attributable to the resolve of the Iraqi people who have come forward with information because they want their city and their nation rid of terrorists.

Zarqawi has organized many of the suicide bombings, mortar attacks and shootings that have claimed hundreds of lives in Iraq in recent months. Those beheaded by Zarqawi and associates include American businessman, Nicholas Berg, a Korean translator, Kim Sun-Il, and U.S. civil engineers, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley.

Zarqawi has also claimed credit for a string of three car bombs at a celebration to inaugurate a sewage plant in Baghdad. The car bombs killed more than 35 children and injured more than 130 people, including more than 70 children, according to Iraqi government sources. The September 30 attacks also injured 10 U.S. Soldiers.
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