BAGHDAD, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Iraqi government officials said Friday they had arrested three top lieutenants to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida leader in Iraq.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih identified the suspects as Anab Mohammed Hamid al-Qas, a top military adviser to Zarqawi affiliates; Salah Suleiman al-Loheibi, the "emir" of Zarqawi's Baghdad operations, and Ali Hamed al-Issawi, Zarqawi's chief "gate keeper."
"Over two months we have arrested at least a dozen senior Zarqawi associates, and more than 20 other members and operatives of the Zarqawi networks have been rounded up," Salih said at a news briefing with Pentagon reporters from Baghdad.
The arrests have given U.S. and Iraqi government forces a clearer picture of Zarqawi's nationwide network. They have also named the man responsible for numerous car bombs in Iraq, including one that killed former governing council member Izzedine Salim last year. Salih said Zarqawi is working closely with Saddam loyalists
"This is a dangerous man responsible for the death of so many Iraqis and coalition members, and we are after him. Sooner or later, we will get him," Salih said.
The Jordanian-born terrorist has sworn to disrupt Sunday's elections.