Citizen’s tip topples bomb-making factory
Written by Pfc. Kimberly Hackbarth, 2nd Infantry Division
Tuesday, February 09, 2010 09:25
BAGHDAD – The recent actions of one Iraqi resident here helped make the streets safer in southern Ghazaliya when he notified his local Iraqi Army unit of a possible improvised explosive device factory.
"Whether it's big information or small information, [it's] all important information," said Lt. Col. Abdullah, commander, 4th Battalion, 22nd Iraqi Army Brigade, 6th IA Division. "Whatever we find, no matter how small it is, we found it because of our efforts, because of our sources, and because of the information that we get."
The information regarding the IED factory resulted in the seizure of a quarter-kilogram of ammonium nitrate, 43 battery connecters and condensers, one cell phone and other supplies used to create magnetically-attached IEDs, commonly used in assassinations.
This, along with other recent tips provided by local citizens, demonstrates that many Iraqis are no longer afraid to come forward and help, said Abdullah.
"Day by day, the trust of the civilians is getting stronger," he said.
The partnership developed between the IA and Iraq’s citizens has become a point of discussion during council meetings attended by 4th Bn. and local shaykhs.
At the meetings, Abdullah updates council leaders on what improvements have been made by his battalion.
Bolstering the community's confidence in the battalion has led to increased participation from the local populace, greatly appreciated by the battalion, said U.S. Army officials.
In response to the successful Feb. 4 discovery, Soldiers from Company F, 52nd Infantry Regiment, the Iraqi battalion's U.S. partners, visited the battalion headquarters in Ghazaliya to congratulate them.
"The fact that they were able to seize these MA-IEDs degrades the enemy's ability to conduct attacks against them," said Capt. Vic Morris, the commander.
The company is attached to 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
Morris and Abdullah said they plan to continue to work together in the future, using assets such as military working dogs and metal detectors to improve security for the local populace.
Abdullah summed up contributions of the citizens who helped find the bomb-making factory with a quote from the Quran: "When you protect someone from being killed, you're saving everybody's life." (source)