US-Iraqi forces arrest suspected members of Daesh funding network

Iraqi Special Forces troops take up positions to engage Daesh fighters in Mosul in this November 11, 2016 photo. Iraqi and US troops on Thursday arrested 10 suspected members of a network that provided funding for Daesh in Baghdad and the northern city of Irbil. (AFP)
Updated 12 October 2018
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US-Iraqi forces arrest suspected members of Daesh funding network

  • Joint Iraqi-US task force conducted raids from Oct. 7-9 and arrested suspected members of the Rawi financial network, which operated as a “financial facilitation group” for Daesh
  • Daesh fighters have remained in Iraq despite their defeat and have since then waged a campaign of kidnappings and killings

IRBIL, Iraq: A joint task force of US coalition and Iraqi special forces has arrested 10 suspected members of a network that provided funding for Daesh in Baghdad and the northern city of Irbil, the coalition said on Thursday.

The task force conducted raids from Oct. 7-9 and arrested suspected members of the Rawi financial network, which operated as a “financial facilitation group” for the militants, the coalition said in a statement.

“The arrests deal a major blow to ISIS’ (Daesh) capacity to threaten and terrorize civilians,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick B. Roberson, commander of Special Operation Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve.

“This demonstrates that those who assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material or technological support to ISIS will face severe consequences.”

Iraq declared victory over the militant group in December after retaking swathes of territory it held but its fighters have since then waged a campaign of kidnappings and killings.

Separately, an army officer was killed and three soldiers were captured in western Iraq after militants attacked their vehicle, security sources said on Thursday.

The attack took place late on Wednesday in the town of Akaz, 5 km from the Qaim district of Anbar province. The unit was delivering food to other troops, the sources told Reuters.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but Daesh militants are active in the area.

Usually militants kill soldiers and take officers captive whom they view as higher value targets, the sources said, but the reverse happened on Wednesday night.

At least eight people were killed and 12 wounded in a suicide car-bomb attack on a security checkpoint in the same area last August.

Security forces retook Qaim, which lies 300 km west of Baghdad in the Sunni province of Anbar, on the border with Syria, in November. It was one of the last remaining territories in Iraq held by Daesh.

The group’s fighters have since then waged a campaign of killings and abductions. 

In another development, Iraq’s government has named Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi as head of a new National Oil Company which will serve as an umbrella organization for state oil firms, an Oil Ministry spokesman told Reuters on Thursday.

Parliament voted in March to establish the company, which is meant to manage Iraq’s upstream operations, freeing up the ministry to set plans and strategies for developing the sector.

The decision was voted on unanimously in Cabinet last week, spokesman Asim Jihad said. The positions of oil minister and National Oil Company chief are not related, he added.

“The appointment decision was made for many reasons, including the experience Luaibi has,” Jihad said. Luaibi will also remain as oil minister in Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s outgoing government, he said.

Iraqi President Barham Salih named former Oil Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi as prime minister-designate earlier this month and tasked him with forming a new government. It is unclear if Luaibi will remain after that.

“The issue of selection of a new minister is the responsibility of the prime minister-designate. Anything is possible, we will wait and see,” said Jihad.

Luaibi remains a minister until a new government is formed and approved by parliament, he said.


Israeli police probe suspicious attempts to appoint 2 judges

Updated 30 min 12 sec ago
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Israeli police probe suspicious attempts to appoint 2 judges

  • Police have seized documents as part of the investigation and there was a sweeping gag order on all further details
  • Israeli media have been rife with speculation in recent days over the scope of the affair, offering only hints of high it goes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say they are investigating allegations rocking Israel's legal system involving suspicious attempts to appoint two judges.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Wednesday the Lahav 433 investigative body is looking into "offenses of integrity" regarding attempts to appoint the two. He says police have seized documents as part of the investigation and there was a sweeping gag order on all further details.
Israeli media have been rife with speculation in recent days over the scope of the affair, offering only hints of high it goes.
The Haaretz daily has reported that Israel's attorney general recused himself from the case because of his friendship with the main suspect and that the country's justice minister and chief justice of the Supreme Court will be called to testify.