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AR RAMADI Iraq (Aug. 4, 2005) -Sergeant Jade C. Hill, the squad leader of 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, loads a suspected insurgent into the back of a humvee during a mission in the city here Aug. 4. Hill, a 21-year-old from Westminster, Md., and other Marines with 2nd Platoon captured the man while conducting random vehicle and personnel searches throughout the city in an effort to capture insurgents and seize weapons. The man they caught was believed by Marine officials to be responsible for attacking Marines with improvised explosives. Photo by: Cpl. Tom Sloan

Photo by Cpl. Tom Sloan

1/5 Marines capture likely IED triggerman, Al Quida leader look-alike

4 Aug 2005 | Cpl. Tom Sloan

Marines with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment took a man into custody here who bares a striking resemblance to a renowned terrorist. “He looks just like Osama bin Laden,” said Sgt. Fidel A. Alcoces, the platoon sergeant for 2nd Platoon, Company A, upon returning to camp with the suspect. Marines with 2nd Platoon captured the man during a mission in the Al Anbar capital Aug. 5. “I was like, ‘We just caught Osama,’” recalled Lance Cpl. Riza Ozkan, a 21-year-old rifleman with 2nd Platoon’s 1st Squad and native of San Rafael, Calif. He’s shorter than the Al Qaeda leader but shares similar features – long, black beard, thin face and body, dressed in a white long-sleeve robe that fell to his ankles and leather sandals. The Marines were driving through a portion of the city in a convoy of up-armored humvees conducting random vehicle and personnel searches – snap VCPs (vehicle checkpoints) - when they happened upon the man. He was riding in a vehicle the Marines stopped to search, but they didn’t detain him just on account of his looks. According to Alcoces, he’s suspected to be responsible for attacking Marines with improvised explosives. “There’s been numerous times when we’ve been hit by IEDs (improvised explosive devices) or they’ve gone off close to our area and he has always been around,” said 29-year-old Alcoces from San Antonio, Texas. “He could be detonating them.” Alcoces added that in addition to the IED attacks, the man “acts very suspicious” when he encounters Marines. “He’d give us dirty looks and get all the people on the street to leave whenever we drove by,” he said. “He’d run and hide in the mosque nearby when the IEDs would go off.” The man failed to elude Alcoces and the Marines this day, though. “We’re thrilled that we finally got him,” Alcoces said, smiling. “We’ve been after this guy for a long time. Ramadi is our neighborhood. We’ve been working it for more than five months now so we know the people, and this guy is bad.” Alcoces attributes the successful capture to the tactics his Marines used. “Snap VCPs are the money,” he said. “We’re catching the insurgents off guard with them. We’re very fortunate to have caught this guy.” Officials with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines held the man at their detainee facility for questioning. Soon after being interrogated, the man was transported to Abu Ghraib Prison, officials said.