Al-Batawi was accused of being the mastermind of the 2010 Baghdad church attack in which 70 people died. His al-Qaeda faction was also accused of being behind bombings against the Al Arabiya television station's Baghdad bureau and the city's central bank. On November 27, one month after the church bombing, Iraqi security forces announced they had captured Al-Batawi and militants believed to have been co-conspirators in the church bombing
On May 8, 2011, in a Baghdad prison mutiny, al-Batawi overpowered a police officer who was leading him to an interrogation room, taking his weapon and shooting him dead. Al-Batawi had been unshackled for interrogation. He then freed a number of other prisoners associated along with him in the church massacre and killed Iraqi Brigadier General Moayeh al-Saleh, the counter-terrorism chief for Baghdad's central Karrada district, before being himself killed in a firefight. 17 people were killed overall, including 11 senior al-Qaeda militants, according to the Baghdad police spokesman. Another police source said eight inmates, most facing death sentences, were killed along with nine security officers, three of them senior officials.
- "Al-Qaeda leader attempts Baghdad jailbreak leaving 18 dead". telegraph.co.uk. 8 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- "Militant leader among 12 caught in connection with Iraq church siege". cnn.com. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- Tawfeeq, Mohammed (8 May 2011). "Officials: Iraqi prisoner grabs gun; firefight leaves 17 dead". cnn.com. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- Mohammed, Muhanad (8 May 2011). "Al Qaeda leader and 17 others killed in Iraq jail clash". uk.reuters.com. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
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