Photo Information

CAMP BAHARIA, Iraq - Staff Sgt. Candelario Martinez, a Marine with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, browses for snacks inside the Baharia Post Exchange Aug. 24. The camp's PX offers Marines here and throughout Northern Fallujah electronics, health and comfort items, and serves approximately 2,000 customers every week.

Photo by Cpl Mike Escobar

3/25 detain suspected Qaeda members

21 Aug 2005 | Cpl. Ken Melton

Marines with Weapons platoon, Company “L”, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment and soldiers of the Iraqi Security Forces detained several men after finding weapons in a house near the scene where several Marines died earlier this month.While conducting routine observation, the Marines came across a group of suspicious men in a field located approximately two miles north of the town of Barwana.“We were just observing the area when we saw all these guys just standing around,” Sgt. Travis L. Brill, a 29-year-old section leader and Plainfield, Ohio native said. “After the ISF talked with these guys, we saw a vehicle that looked identical to the one leaving the scene a few weeks ago.”The Marines and the soldiers left their base in the evening to conduct their mission. Before reaching their post, they spotted what looked like a possible improvised explosive device (IED) and stopped to investigate.While on foot they approached the men in the field and the ISF soldiers began to question them. The suspects eventually led the men to a nearby house where they said they lived, and which was a point of interest during their mission.Upon reaching the house, they discovered two more males and a taxi that was a suspected getaway vehicle for the insurgents involved in the attack.“When we searched the taxi we saw traces of blood in it,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert M. Bayless, a 30-year-old Corpsman and Beaver Creek, Ohio native. “We then began to search the property for any more incriminating evidence.”On the property, they discovered a bottle containing 7.62mm ammunition, five AK-47s and a machine gun in new condition wrapped in plastic.Inside the house, they found more blood, a new gas mask, a shoulder holster and propaganda CDs.“We then conducted a gun powder residue test on the men,” said Sgt. Dale K. Fox, a 27-year-old section leader and Fairborn, Ohio native. “Out of the six men we tested, five tested positive. This was the final factor in detaining them.”They also confiscated the weapons and the vehicle so officials could conduct forensic tests.The Marines felt good by getting a chance to bring these potential insurgents to justice.“I look forward to finding more things like these and I hope it will lead to bringing more of these insurgents in,” said Brill, a 1994 Ridgewood High School graduate. “By having the ISF here helping us, we will rid this country of any remaining elements of the insurgency before we know it.”