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Al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq killed during prison riot

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At least 17 prison inmates and four Iraqi police officers were killed during a riot on Sunday at a counter-terrorism detention facility in Iraq's capital city of Baghdad.

According to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police from a police advisor in Iraq training police recruits, al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Huthaifa al-Batawi, accused of masterminding the deadly attack on a Baghdad Christian church in October 2010, is suspected of leading the prisoners' revolt against the guards.

Allegedly al-Batawi grabbed a gun from a police officer's holster while he being led to an interrogation room. He shot four policemen dead, including the head of the unit, according to a U.S. police advisor.

Five other police officers were wounded before al-Batawi was finally shot to death.

Police officials were eager to interrogate al-Batawa regarding possible al-Qaeda plots in Iraq to avenge the death of Osama Bin Laden. Unlike in the United States where prison officers are prohibited from carrying firearms or other weapons, Iraqi guards are armed.

In addition to the shooting and killing four police officers, al-Batawa freed a group of inmates who attempted to break out of the prison in the Iraqi capital's central Karrada district in the early hours of Sunday morning, said the NACOP source.

However, the entire group of escaping prisoners were shot dead by police officers responding to an emergency call by prison officials. Brigadier General Moayed al-Saleh was killed along with a lieutenant colonel and two first lieutenants, the NACOP source said.

Al-Batawi who was the Baghdad chief of Al-Qaeda's front group in Baghdad when he was arrested on November 27 for leading the siege of a Catholic Church in Karrada district on October 31, 2010.

More than 100 Catholics were worshiping at mass at the time, and they were all taken hostage. About half of the worshipers were killed in crossfire between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi security forces who moved in to try to rescue them.

In addition to the church siege, which ignited a series of protests by Christians from the capital and other major cities, the group was also accused of being behind bombings against the Al-Arabiya television station's Baghdad bureau and the killing and burning of an Iraqi soldier in Baghdad.

Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for, and he's a columnist for In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB ( Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.

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