Senior member of Al Qaeda in Iraq arrested

May 25th, 2008 - 4:53 pm ICT by admin  

Baghdad, May 25 (DPA) A senior member of the Al Qaeda in Iraq group was arrested in the northern Salahddin province, a security official said Sunday, a day after the arrest of seven commanders of the Islamic State of Iraq extremist group in the neighbouring province of Diyala. Police arrested overnight Ali Hussein al-Sanjari, a senior preacher and issuer of religious rulings in the extremist Al Qaeda in Iraq group in Salahddin, said Ahmed al-Fahal of the anti-terror unit of the local police.

Al-Sanjari was arrested as he was coming out of the al-Huda mosque at the centre of Tikrit after he gave a sermon to a gathering of young men about rulings on declaring Muslims as Kafir, meaning Muslims who break religious rules and are doomed to hell.

Al-Sanjari, who is from the town of Siniya in Bayji, issued a religious ruling sanctioning the killing of civilians and attacks on Iraqi troops in Salahddin, 180 km north of Baghdad.

The arrest comes after Iraq troops backed by US forces in Diyala province captured 29 members of the Islamic State of Iraq in Buhruz, seven of whom are commanders, the province police chief, Ghanim al-Qurayshi, told the pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper.

The Islamic State of Iraq is a Sunni extremist group with close links to the Al Qaeda terror network.

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