Iraq's Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency on Tuesday (October 2nd) captured the members of a cell responsible for forging official documents for "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) remnants in Ninawa province, the Interior Ministry said.
A special force from the ministry’s Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Directorate in Ninawa arrested the three members of the cell in a raid on their hideout in Mosul after receiving intelligence tip-offs from residents.
The force found 750 empty templates of official identity cards, personal IDs, residence documents and nationality certificates, the ministry said.
They also uncovered 67 templates for various seals and phosphor molds, as well as equipment and tools used in forging documents, it said.
The cell members admitted to forging official documents for the account of ISIS elements in order to help them conceal their true identity and avoid them getting arrested by security forces, it added.
'Positive indicator of vigilance'
Ninawa provincial council security committee member Binyan al-Jarba praised the efforts of security forces and intelligence services in busting the cell.
"This is great work and a positive indicator of our forces’ vigilance in hunting down terrorist elements and those who help them escape punishment," he told Diyaruna on Wednesday.
"Terrorists are doing everything in their power to evade security forces and the intelligence services," he said, noting that traveling with fake IDs is one of the tactics used by ISIS remnants to avoid detection and move freely.
While the recent arrest shows that terror activity "is not yet over", he said, "it pushes us to once again call for stepping up intelligence work to thwart any terrorist activities or attempts to infiltrate our cities and threaten the security and safety of our citizens".
"The security situation today in Mosul and parts of Ninawa is good," al-Jarba stressed, adding that this is a result of the security forces’ "extraordinary efforts" to consolidate stability and uncover terrorists' plans.
However, he renewed his call to support security forces in Ninawa with manpower and equipment.
"Great responsibilities are placed on these forces and they are performing their duties as required," he said, "but they must receive more reinforcements and be equipped with advanced weapons so they can do their best in securing the province."