Iraqi authorities say they have captured a senior leader of a militant group linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

The arrest comes as Iraq's government looks to bolster its security credentials ahead of parliamentary elections in March.

Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi announced the capture of Ali al-Azzawi in a televised press conference Saturday.

He identified al-Azzawi as a high-level commander in the Islamic State of Iraq who supervised numerous attacks, including the 2003 bombing of the United Nations' headquarters in Iraq.

Footage showed a man who identified himself as al-Azzawi saying he was a member of the insurgent organization.

Such announcements of arrests have sometimes in the past proved premature.