By Maj. Randall Baucom
1st Cavalry Division public affairs
CAMP TAJI, Iraq —Multinational Division-Baghdad soldiers located multiple weapons and munitions caches and a car bomb factory and rescued a kidnapping victim in northwest Baghdad July 26.
While conducting patrols in the area around Tall Yusuf village of Abu Ghraib, soldiers from Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division located five weapons and munitions caches. The caches consisted of mortars, anti-aircraft guns with ammunition, containers filled with high explosives, and other bomb-making material. The weapons, ammunition and explosives were destroyed by an explosive ordnance disposal team.
Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Battalion conducted an air assault to relieve Alpha Company at the cache sites and continued to patrol the area. While conducting their patrol the soldiers discovered a car bomb factory, which contained several vehicles.
While searching the building, a kidnapping victim was discovered. The victim claimed he was kidnapped in the Abu Ghraib area after visiting his relatives there. He said the persons responsible were agents of al-Qaida, and they had kidnapped him because they believed he was a spy for the “1920 Brigade.” The 1920 Brigade is a former Sunni group that had rejected the government of Iraq, but has recently made overtures to reconcile with the government and coalition forces to defeat al-Qaida in Iraq. The victim claims he had been kidnapped for almost four days, and that he had been tortured.
After the man had been rescued, the artillery unit requested air support to destroy the vehicles and the building which was being used as a car bomb factory. Aviators from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division destroyed the vehicles and a fixed-wing aircraft dropped a 500-pound bomb on the building.
Tthe kidnapping victim was taken by helicopter back to Camp Taji for a medical evaluation. Noting that the victim had no serious injuries, soldiers from the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, took the him to Camp Liberty. From there, soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavarly Regiment returned the man to Abu Ghraib to be reunited with his family.