Major Gen. William Caldwell identified the leader as Muharib Abdul Latif al-Jubouri and said he was al-Qaida's senior minister for information in Iraq, CNN reported. He reportedly died Tuesday in a firefight north of Baghdad.
"Based on multiple detainee briefings we know he was responsible for the transportation and movement of Jill Carroll from her various hiding places," said Caldwell.
Caldwell said Jubouri is believed to have been involved in the kidnapping of Tom Fox, a U.S. peace activist whose body was found in March in Baghdad.
Jubouri's body was seized by Iraq security officers at a checkpoint after it was released for burial, Caldwell said, leading to a false report that an even more senior al-Qaida leader had been killed, The New York Times reported.
Also, seven Iraqis and three American soldiers were killed in explosions in Iraq that wounded at least 47 others, military officials said.
Two American soldiers died and two were injured when their patrol was hit by an improvised bomb south of Baghdad. A third American soldier was killed by a bomb west of Baghdad.
At least seven Iraqis were killed and 45 injured when a booby-trapped car exploded in Sadr City Wednesday, KUNA, the Kuwait News Agency reported. The death toll from the blast was expected to increase, hospital officials said.