Iraqi and coalition forces have arrested the second most senior figure in al-Qaida in
Iraq, Iraq's national security adviser announced on Sunday, saying the group now suffered from a "serious leadership crisis."
Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, was captured north of Baghdad a few days ago "along with another group of his aides and followers," Mouwafak al-Rubaie said.
He was the second most important al-Qaida in Iraq leader after Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who took over the group after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. air strike north of Baghdad on June 7, al-Rubaie said.
"We believe that al-Qaida in Iraq suffers from a serious leadership crisis. Our troops have dealt fatal and painful blows to this organization," the security adviser said.
Al-Saeedi was "directly responsible" for Haitham Sabah Shaker Mohammed al-Badri, the alleged mastermind of the February bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, al-Rubaie added without elaborating.
Sep 3, 2006
This is certainly good news: