According to an "Iraqi military spokesman." The Islamic State of Iraq has set up their own Islamic government in areas where there was little government presence. They were also the group the captured and executed 18 Iraqi security personal and they have claimed responsibility for downing several U.S. helicopters:
The shadowy leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida-inspired group that challenged the authority of Iraq's government, was captured Friday in a raid on the western outskirts of Baghdad, an Iraqi military spokesman said.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was arrested along with several other insurgents in a raid in the town of Abu Ghraib, said Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman for the Baghdad security operation. U.S. officials had no confirmation of the capture and said they were looking into the report.
Al-Moussawi said al-Baghdadi admitted his identity, as did another "of the terrorists" who confirmed "that the one in our hands is al-Baghdadi."
The arrest of al-Baghdadi would be a major victory for U.S. and Iraqi forces in their fight against Sunni insurgents, especially the hardcore religious extremists who have shown no interest in negotiating an end to their struggle.
But some analysts have pointed out that the al-Qaida-linked extremists rebounded following the death last June of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the charismatic al-Qaida in Iraq leader who died in a U.S. airstrike in Diyala province.
The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq was proclaimed in October, when a militant network that includes al-Qaida in Iraq announced in a video that it had established an Islamic state in six provinces including Baghdad that have large Sunni populations, along with parts of two other central provinces that are predominantly Shiite.
And there were other successes as well:
The purported arrest comes at a time when the Baghdad security operation is showing early signs of progress in curbing violence. Car bombings have decreased in frequency, despite last Monday's devastating blast that killed 38 and this week's rash of assaults against Shiite pilgrims that claimed more than 340 lives nationwide.What a blessing from the Lord that we have began to see some relief in the violence over there. I guess the surge must be working, so why is Congress still so intent to remove our military?
U.S. forces, meanwhile, killed a suspected militant and captured 16 others in raids across Iraq, the military said. Among those detained were a man accused of working in al-Qaida's media wing and another believed to be responsible for kidnappings, beheadings and suicide attacks.
"The terrorist cells are being dismantled and operations will continue until we put an end to this dangerous plight that threatens the unity and the prosperity of the people," al-Maliki said Friday.