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3/2/04 - THE DEATH OF A TERRORIST - 2004-03-03

Abu Mohammed Hamza was a bomb expert working for Abu Musab Zarqawi, a terrorist associated with al-Qaida. Now Hamza is dead.

Coalition soldiers were distributing leaflets. When they knocked on the door of one house, someone inside started shooting. The soldiers returned fire and killed Hamza. Inside the house, the soldiers found a suicide bomber’s vest that contained plastic explosives, ball bearings, blasting caps, a triggering device, and a hand grenade. The coalition soldiers also found suitcases containing wires, batteries, and other items used in the manufacture of homemade bombs. General Mark Kimmitt, Deputy Director for Coalition Operations, says other terrorist-related items were found in the vicinity:

“Outside the house were found some barrels of sodium nitrate, some crates with some Soviet Cyrillic writing on the side, some more bags of sodium nitrate, and other items unknown. Samples have been taken by our explosive ordinance detachments, and they're being analyzed at this time.”

In addition to Abu Mohammed Hamza, General Kimmitt says that three other Iraqi terrorist suspects were detained:

“The coalition continues to conduct precision offensive operations to kill or capture anti-coalition elements and enemies of the Iraqi people. These operations are also intended to obtain intelligence for future operations and to ensure the people of Iraq of our determination to establish a safe and secure environment.”

Coalition forces in Habbaniya and elsewhere are being assisted by Iraqi police. “The end of the last regime caused the collapse of all institutions," Iraqi police spokesman Rahman Mushawer told the Christian Science Monitor newspaper. “So from that point, the police began to carry on their shoulders the severe responsibility of protecting the people of their country.”