"Iraqi police forces detained Umar Baziyani, a known terrorist and murder suspect, on 30 May here," a statement said on Friday. 

"Baziyani, an associate of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is known to have ties to several extremist terrorist groups in Iraq and is believed to be responsible for the death and injury of scores of innocent Iraqi citizens." 

US occupation forces, which called Baziyani one of al-Zarqawi's "most valuable officers", said he was divulging information. 

Accusations

The occupation accuses al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian with links to Usama bin Ladin's al-Qaida network, of being the brains behind the many car bombings that have battered the country, including the March dual-bombings during the Shia religious holiday of al-Shura that killed more than 170 people in Baghdad and Karbala. 

"Baziyani, an associate of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is known to have ties to several extremist terrorist groups in Iraq and is believed to be responsible for the death and injury of scores of innocent Iraqi citizens" 

US statement

The occupation points to a letter seized in January allegedly from al-Zarqawi which brags about previous attacks and his plans to plunge Iraq into civil war. 

But US military officers throughout Iraq acknowledge that al-Zarqawi is not the main driving force of the year-old resistance.

They claim the resistance is motored primarily by the country's Sunni Muslim population, which fears for its place in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. 

Al-Zarqawi's crew is considered small in size but dangerous due to their access to cash, expertise and foreign connections, the officers said.