Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman for the Baghdad security plan, said the raid targeted a house of legislator Khalaf al-Ilyan — one of the three leaders of the Iraqi Accordance Front, which holds 44 seats in parliament.
"During the search, we discovered many weapons and explosive materials,"al-Moussawi said at a news conference. He did not say when the raid took place, but a U.S. military statement said it occurred Tuesday.
Among the weapons found in the house were 33 Kalashnikov rifles, three pistols, one hand grenade, 4.4 pounds of TNT and 13 82-mm mortar rounds, al-Moussawi said.
The U.S. military said eight 57-mm rockets and 5,000 rounds of ammunition were also seized, along with photos of burning British soldiers and American flag-draped coffins. A detailed search revealed buried mortar rounds with new explosive timing and initiation devices.
Al-Ilyan was believed to be in Jordan at the time of the raid, and was unreachable for comment.
Al-Moussawi said troops detained 12 people for questioning. A U.S. military statement put the number of detainees at 14, and said they were al-Ilyan's personal bodyguards.
As a parliament member, al-Ilyan has immunity from prosecution. But al-Moussawi said
"no one is immune when it comes to the law, and if anyone is convicted the person will be detained by security forces."
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman, suggested U.S. officials would not back away from prosecuting a parliament member.
"Anytime we find someone operating outside the law, not following the rules that have been set by this government, they are subject to being detained and arrested,"Caldwell said.