Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Army Conducts Lightning Raid to Nab Four

The Army released the news today of a July 30 raid that utilized speed, efficiency and professionalism to net four probable bad guys.
U.S. soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment and an attached platoon from 8th Engineer Battalion conducted a successful four-target-simultaneous cordon and knock raid July 30, detaining four suspected terrorists in four different homes in Al Doura.

Four of the intended six targets were allegedly involved in the killing of four Russians who worked at the Al Doura power plant in May, according to Capt. Jeff Mersiowsky, Company B commander.

“All four houses we hit contained personnel we were looking for, so we didn’t have any dry holes,” Mersiowsky said. “It’s always a concern to go into a house and have to disrupt someone’s life and realize you’re in the wrong house.”

An added success to the mission was the speed in which it was executed.

“We took about 30 minutes to search the house,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Clay, 8th Engineer Battalion team leader. “From the time we left to the time we came back was about 40 minutes.”
Just as I pointed out earlier today about the Pakistanis' recent string of success, this raid is another example of a crack in a terror cell leading to greater opportunities.
The objectives and locations were developed when the company found information about a possible terrorist cell during a farm raid in Al Doura.

“In that cache the farmer was detained and he was the first person in the cell we found. After we got him, pieces of the cell started to unravel with information,” Mersiowsky said. “We didn’t realize how big the cell was until we got an informant.”

With four more terrorists off the streets and one of them a possible leader to the cell, Company B has taken a big step forward to taking anti-Iraq force insurgents off the streets of Al Doura.

“Every time we pull someone out of there it makes a big difference here. The area has a lot of people who finance the activity,” Mersiowsky said. “Whenever we can take out the leader, then it’s difficult for the rest of the people to operate.”


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