Al-Qaeda Member Snagged in Iraq

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Fresh arrests of al-Qaeda members in Iraq support the claim that the terrorist group is attempting to stir up even more trouble in the U.S.-occupied country. Hasan Ghul was captured on Friday by Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq after they were tipped off by the CIA, a U.S. official said. He is now in U.S. custody. Ghul is a "big al-Qaeda facilitator-operator," says the official. He's pegged as ranking in the top 20 of the group's hierarchy. The U.S. official continues: "Heís very high up in the al-Qaeda food chain ... He was just coming into the country, we think probably to foment trouble—but he didnít quite get the opportunity. The Kurds got him and turned him over us."

Also captured was Husam al Yemeni, whom a U.S. official in Iraq says was supplying money to the anti-American resistance and commanding attacks against coalition forces. Yemeni, says another U.S. intelligence source, is "an al-Ansar guy" and an aide to Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi.

Al-Ansar is the homegrown Iraqi terror group and Zarqawi allegedly ran its operations in northern Iraq before the American forces battered its operatives during the war — though many Ansar terrorists escaped U.S. forces and later dispersed in Iraq. Intelligence sources believe that since then, Zarqawi has re-emerged in Iraq to lead forces allied to al-Qaeda in the armed resistance to the U.S. occupation. Al-Yemeni, says one source, is a "senior guy," someone with the capacity to "make stuff happen, a planner. He wasnít conducting attacks himself, probably, but he was helping mastermind them."