Officials say al Qaeda’s second in command in the country has been arrested. Iraq’s National Security Adviser named the man as Hamed Juma Faris al-Suaidi, also known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana. Mowaffak al-Rubaie said he had been detained by Iraqi and US troops a few days ago. He added that he had been hiding in a building used by families.
It is claimed the man was the deputy to Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who took over the Sunni Islamist insurgent group after US troops killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in June. Iraqi and US officials have blamed al Qaeda in Iraq for some of the bloodiest attacks against civilians in the country. They accuse the group of trying to ignite a sectarian civil war between Shi’ites and Sunnis.