Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi, 37, whose real name is Fadel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, is a veteran of the Afghan war against Soviet occupation. Per U.S.
officials, Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi or Al-Zarkawi is the connection between Al-Qaeda and Iraq.
He is a Jordanian of Palestinian descent, who was wounded in Afghanistan in fighting following the September 11th attacks. He avoided capture and fled
to Iran. Most reports indicate that after a stay in Iran he went to Iraq for medical treatment, where one of his legs was amputated and replaced with
a prosthesis. His next reported location was in a terrorist camp in southern Lebanon. Following that he was variously reported to have travelled to
northern Iraq to visit Ansar al-Islam. This visit is the basis of the US administration attempts to link Saddam Hussain's regime to terrorism in
general, and al Qaeda in particular. On 31 January, 2003, US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told a Senate panel that al-Zarqawi was
residing in Bahgdad. President Bush has also made claims regarding al-Zarqawi being treated in a Baghdad hospital. More recently, US Secretary of
State Colin Powell used the al-Zarqawi/Iraq connection as ammunition in the US Administration's efforts to solidify their case for war against Iraq.
Jordanian officials have publicly disputed the US administration's claims. Their position is that al-Zarqawi is also wanted by Iraqi authorities.
Other claims say that al-Zarqawi was in Iraq, but has since departed for points unknown.
Al-Zarqawi has a criminal record in Jordan. He was identified in the October 2002 murder of US AID representative Laurence Foley in Amman, Jordan.
He was sentenced in Jordan to 15 years hard labor for his part in various terrorist conspiracies, including an aborted plot to hit various tourist an
religious sites in Jordan during the 2000 celebrations, which he has never served. Other sources in Jordan claim al-Zarqawi's planned attacks would
have involved the use of chemical gas against US and Israeli interests in Amman. Jordanian authorities managed to foil the plot in 1999, and arrested
and executed several of the plot's members.
Identified as one of al Qaeda's top chemical weapons experts, Al-Zarqawi has also been linked to Ansar al-Islam, the pro al Qaeda militia that
operates out of Kurdish northern Iraq. There are also links the recent al Qaeda cells discovered in England. The English cells appeared to be
manufacturing ricin, a deadly poison that al-Zarqawi has experience and interest with. While it is known that Zarqawi ran a poison-training camp in
Afghanistan, his network's relationship with al Qaeda is not clear. European officials believe that money changed hands between the two networks,
but they are not sure Zarqawi took orders from al Qaeda leaders. They say he is closely linked with the Chechen rebel movement, which tends to operate
independently within the world of Islamist terror. Zarqawi also appears to have close links with Iran and Qatari royalty.
A suspect who provided extensive information about Zarqawi to German officials last year reportedly said the Jordanian was aligned with Iran and
opposed to al Qaeda. Zarqawi had "links with all [terrorist] groups with the exception of al Qaeda. … He is against al Qaeda," the suspect was
quoted as saying by The Chicago Tribune this week.
Quote from Al=Zarqawi Letter:
"Here is the current situation as I, with my limited vision, see it. I ask God to forgive my prattle and lapses. I say, having sought help from God,
that the Americans, as you know well, entered Iraq on a contractual basis and to create the State of Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates and
that this Zionized American Administration believes that accelerating the creation of the State of [Greater] Israel will accelerate the emergence of
the Messiah. It came to Iraq with all its people, pride, and haughtiness toward God and his Prophet. It thought that the matter would be somewhat
easy. Even if there were to be difficulties, it would be easy. But it collided with a completely different reality. The operations of the brother
mujahidin began from the first moment, which mixed things up somewhat. Then, the pace of operations quickened. This was in the Sunni Triangle, if this
is the right name for it. This forced the Americans to conclude a deal with the Shi`a, the most evil of mankind. The deal was concluded on [the basis
that] the Shi`a would get two-thirds of the booty for having stood in the ranks of the Crusaders against the mujahidin."
Tracking the threat
The missing pieces
The Zarqawi Node in the Terror Matrix
U.S. Intelligence Is Tracking New Terror Mastermind and His
[Edited on 3-18-2004 by worldwatcher]