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Key leader of al-Zarqawi network captured in Baghdad


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BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Multi-National Forces recently captured a senior member of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist network in northern Baghdad, according to a statement released Friday by Iraq's government.

Fadil Hussain Ahmed al-Kurdi, 26, was responsible for "facilitating communications between al Qaeda and the al-Zarqawi terror networks as well as coordinating the movement of terrorists in and out of Iraq," according to the statement.

Al-Kurdi -- an Iraqi Kurd also known as Abu Ubaydah al-Kurdi, or "Ridha," -- was picked up along with two others during a raid on a terrorist safe house, thanks to information from "courageous Iraqi citizens," the government said.

He is the brother of Umar Baziyani, identified by the Iraqi government as a terrorist in the al-Zarqawi network, who was captured in May by Multi-National Forces.

The brothers remain in detention and are being question by Iraqi and coalition forces.

The government says Zarqawi's network has suffered significant losses recently.

Abu Marwan, 33, a key leader of a Mosul-based terror group affiliated with the al-Zarqawi's network was captured on Dec. 23, according to Iraqi officials. He was "responsible for conducting and commanding terrorist operations in Mosul," the government said.

"The capture of Ridha and Marwan removes two of Zarqawi's valuable and formerly trusted officers from his al Qaeda-linked network," the government statement said.


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