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Coalition Operations Lead To Death Of Senior Foreign Al Qaeda Terrorist

“A Key Loss To The Al Qaeda Foreign LeadershipA Dangerous Terrorist Who Is No Longer Part Of Al Qaeda in Iraq”

“One Item That Was Found Was A Hand-Written Letter Believed To Be Written By Tunisi …”

Watch Video The F-16 Airstrike That Led To Abu Usama Al Tunisi’s Death

Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Chief of Staff, Multinational Corps-Iraq

Press Briefing

September 28, 2007

ANDERSON: Today, I’d like to give you a update on a high-level Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist cell leader who was killed near Musayyib on September 25 by coalition forces.

Coalition force operations lead to the death of a senior foreign al Qaeda terrorist, Abu Usama al Tunisi, a close associate and part of the inner circle of close advisers to Abu Ayyub al Masri, or otherwise known as AAM,the overall leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq and his likely successor. …

Abu Usama al Tunisi was one of the most senior leaders within al Qaeda in Iraq. He was the emir of foreign terrorists in Iraq and, as I stated, part of the inner leadership circle of al Qaeda in Iraq who had direct contact with Abu Ayyub al Masri.

He was originally from Tunisia and was a primary facilitator for the movement of foreign terrorists into the country. His death is a key loss to the al Qaeda foreign leadership.

His background includes the following: He operated in Yusufiyah, southwest of Baghdad, since the Second Battle of Fallujah in November ’04 and became the overall emir of Yusufiyah in the summer of ’06. His group was responsible for kidnapping our American soldiers in June ’06. He was known to have direct access to the al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader AAM. He facilitated foreign fighters in the Yusufiyah area and helped equip them for improvised explosive device, vehicle-born improvised explosive device and suicide attacks in Baghdad. …

This chart shows the senior leadership of al Qaeda in Iraq and puts al Tunisi’s death in context:

The inner circle of leadership with Ayyub al Masri consists of foreigners and al Tunisi was in his top tier of leadership. …

Over 80 percent of suicide bombings are done by foreign terrorists. Until recently, approximately 60 to 80 foreign terrorists have entered Iraq each month. …

[O]n September 25, we received information that a meeting was taking place with Tunisi and other al Qaeda in Iraq members in the Musayyib vicinity. United States Air Force F-16 aircraft attacked the target.

Reporting indicated that several al Qaeda members with ties to senior leadership were present at that time. Three were killed, including Tunisi. His presence was confirmed by one of the two detainees from the operation, one who let the target area just prior to the air strike, who eventually — we eventually captured minutes later.

Following the strike, ground forces secured the area and continued to collect evidence at the scene. One item that was found was a hand-written letter believed to be written by Tunisi.

The key points in this hand-written note include, he’s surrounded, communications have been cut and he’s desperate for help.

This was a dangerous terrorist who is no longer part of al Qaeda in Iraq. His death deals a significant blow to their operation.

He was a foreigner who brought al Qaeda terrorists into Iraq. And, more importantly, he was arguably one of the most important leaders within al Qaeda in Iraq, a possible successor to AAM.