KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region — Kirkuk police said they have arrested four ISIS militants disguised as refugees in a raid. The four had pledged allegiance to ISIS as soon as the group overran Hawija in 2014.
One of the captured who had snuck into Kirkuk with refugees to work in an ISIS sleeper cell revealed precise information on other militants inside Hawija.
"I was specifically sent [by ISIS] to provide information on security forces in Kirkuk. There are nearly 600 ISIS militants inside Hawija including Saudis, Chechen, Bahraini, Chinese and Americans. Also, a group of Kurds named 'Fursan Kurdistan' [Horsemen of Kurdistan] are stationed on Makhul Mountain near Hawija," he explained.
The influx of IDPs into Kirkuk has forced security forces to launch two to three raids in Kirkuk and its outskirts every week.
Head of Kirkuk Suburban Police Brig. Sarhad Qadir said due to strong security measures, ISIS militants cannot carry out terror attacks in Kirkuk easily.
"It is not like previously when they would use roads from Rashad, Riyaz and Hawija to bring explosives into Kirkuk," Qadir noted.
Qadir added "the Peshmerga has controlled these roads very well. [These ISIS militants] who come do not have anything with them. If they could, they would conduct attacks as they did before ISIS came when they were exploded three cars or four cars, or some days, seven cars."