Suspect arrested in Sunni lawmaker's death
BAGHDAD - Iraqi commandos swept into a western Baghdad neighborhood yesterday and arrested a reputed Al Qaeda in Iraq leader suspected of plotting the assassination of a prominent Sunni lawmaker.
Officials said the suspect was also a member of a government-backed Sunni paramilitary group that has joined forces with the Americans against Al Qaeda, but that could not immediately be confirmed.
The brazen daylight shooting death of Harith al-Obeidi raised troubling questions about security two weeks before US troops are to withdraw from urban areas, and officials have been eager to find those responsible. The gunman died at the scene after detonating a grenade.
Iraqi forces wearing black masks and helmets stormed the suspect’s house in the mainly Sunni neighborhood of Ghazaliyah while he was eating lunch with his wife and three children.
The troops met no resistance as they handcuffed and blindfolded the man, searched the house, then escorted him to their Humvees parked nearby. The operation lasted about 15 minutes.
The commandos were tipped off by the owner of the murder weapon - who gave them the suspect’s name after being arrested himself.