A top special operations officer from Lebanon’s Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah has been captured in Iraq, where U.S. officials say he played a key role in a January attack that killed five Americans.
Ali Mussa Daqduq, an explosives expert, was captured in March in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, where he was helping train and lead Shiite militias fighting coalition troops, U.S. intelligence officials told CNN.
Daqduq pretended to be deaf and mute when captured, and his identity was not known for weeks, the officials said.
Once uncovered, however, they said he began to talk, and they now believe he played a crucial role in the January 20 attack in Karbala. Watch Michael Ware’s report on Daqduq »[…]Intelligence officials say Daqduq is one of Hezbollah’s top special operations commanders, an expert in the use of roadside bombs. The Americans say he, along with the Iraqi militia commanders he worked with, has admitted working with Iran’s elite Quds Force special operations unit.
U.S. commanders have said for months that Iraqi militants have been receiving weapons and training from members of the Quds Force, an element of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Washington has demanded the Iranian government stop the flow of arms and militants across its border — which, along with the diplomatic standoff over Iran’s nuclear fuel program, has raised fears of a wider war in the region.
Iran, which has close ties to the Shiite parties that control Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government, has repeatedly denied the allegations. But U.S. intelligence officials said the Quds Force has been backing the creation of Shiite "special groups" modeled on Hezbollah, which holds sway over much of southern Lebanon.
They found computer documents that detailed the planning and training for the kidnapping operation which ultimately led to the deaths of five of our troops.
And they found Daqduq, whom intelligence officials said has admitted working on behalf of Iran.
Contacted by CNN, a Hezbollah spokesman in Lebanon said he would not dignify the U.S. allegations with a response. And it remains unclear why Hezbollah’s leadership would risk sending advisers to Iraq: American intelligence officers suspect Hezbollah — which is indebted to Iran for decades of military and financial support — had no choice.
The economy of Iran is in shambles, protests are increasing, and the world has seen they are not trustworthy.
But will that be enough to rid this world of this evil regime?