A little bit more closure for the family.
US raid kills Iraqi blamed in 2004 reservist death
By TERRY KINNEY – 23 hours ago
CINCINNATI (AP) — A father whose Army reservist son was captured, held hostage and killed in Iraq said Thursday that he's glad to learn one of the
men responsible for his son's death has been "held accountable."
Hajji Hammadi, the al-Qaida in Iraq leader blamed in the 2004 abduction and killing of Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin and other deadly attacks over several
years, was killed in a Nov. 11 raid by U.S. forces in Baghdad, the military said Thursday.
"This guy was finally held accountable for what he's done, and I think I'm happy about that because we're all held accountable," Keith Maupin
said. "They told me they killed him on Veterans Day. Ain't that appropriate."
Maupin's son was a 20-year-old private first class who was seized when his fuel convoy was attacked by insurgents in Iraq on April 19, 2004.
Al-Jazeera aired a video later that month showing Maupin wearing camouflage and a floppy desert hat, sitting on a floor and surrounded by five masked
men holding automatic rifles.
Keith Maupin said the Army told him that Hammadi was the tall man standing behind his son in the videotape.
"It seems as though these bad guys over there think they can do whatever they want to do and they don't have to answer to nobody," Keith Maupin
said. "We all have to answer to somebody sooner or later."
Maupin and his former wife, Carolyn, pressured the Pentagon for nearly four years to keep looking for their son. They met with President Bush on his
trips to Cincinnati and received periodic briefings in Washington.
"We told them we don't hold the Army responsible, but we're damn sure going to hold you accountable for getting Matt home," Maupin said.
His son's remains were found in March on the outskirts of Baghdad, about 12 miles from where the convoy was ambushed. While he was missing, the
Maupins had distributed photos of Matt in thousands of boxes of snacks, games, magazines and toiletries sent to troops in Iraq by the Yellow Ribbon
Support Center, which the Maupins ran in suburban Cincinnati. Matt Maupin was originally from Batavia, Ohio.
Two other Iraqi militants involved in the attack on Maupin's convoy were captured this year, tried and sentenced to death for terrorist acts,
according to his father, who was informed by military officials.
"They said absolutely, positively, these are two of those men," Maupin said.
The statement released by the military on Thursday said Hammadi, also known as Hammadi Awdah Abd Farhan and Abd-al-Salam Ahmad Abdallah al-Janabi, led
a group of fighters against U.S. forces in the second battle of Fallujah in the fall of 2004.
Hammadi also was the mastermind of a June 26 suicide bombing against a meeting of pro-government Sunni sheiks in Karmah, west of Baghdad, the military
said. The attacker was dressed as an Iraqi policeman and killed three U.S. Marines, two interpreters and more than 20 Iraqis.
"Hammadi escorted the suicide bomber to the location and videotaped the attack," the military said.
Five other suspected insurgents were detained in the raid that killed Hammadi, it added. The military said it was announcing the death after Hammadi
was positively identified.
It said the insurgent leader became al-Qaida's emir in a volatile area west of Baghdad in 2004 and had links to slain al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi and his successor Abu Ayyub al-Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir.
"The removal of Hajji Hammadi from the AQI (al-Qaida in Iraq) network is yet another significant blow to the terrorist organization," Brig. Gen.
David Perkins said.