The BBC Worldwide Monitoring reports that an Arabic website, www.al-watan.com, contained a report on September 22 from Paris by Abd-al-Karim Abu-al-Nasr stating that “Al-Zarqawi striving to compete with Bin-Ladin, planning big attack along the lines of 11 September.”
Reportedly, the Iraqi intelligence agencies have prepared a report on Abu-Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, the commander of the Tawhid wa Jihad group.
The BBC Monitoring report states: “Al-Watan has learned from informed European diplomatic sources that a prominent European country concerned with the course of events in Iraq received this Iraqi intelligence service report about Jordanian Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi (whose real name is Ahmad al-Khalayilah, age 38). This report contains the following basic information and elements”:
The European sources disclosed that the security and intelligence services in a number of European countries have information that Al-Zarqawi is ‘determined’ to carry out an operation similar to that of 11 September either in the United States or in one of the European countries.
- Al-Zarqawi's group bears the name Tawhid wa Jihad.
- Tawhid wa Jihad includes between 1000 and 1500 fighters from Iraq and from other Arab and Islamic countries.
- The group includes experts in explosives, projectiles, and various assault weapons.
- The inner group is composed of non-Iraqis that Al-Zarqawi has known for years.
- Some prominent members of Tawhid wa Jihad are:
- Abu-Ali, a rocket expert who worked in the military system under Saddam Hussein's regime;
- Abu-Muhammad, a former Lebanese soldier and an expert in the manufacture and use of explosives. Abu-Muhammad came to Iraq after the U.S. invasion. Prior to his arrival in Iraq, he had spent a few years in Denmark.
- The main headquarters of Tawhid wa Jihad is in the city of Al-Fallujah.
- The leadership of the group is composed of nine "commanders,” responsible for separate combat areas.
- The commander for Baghdad had been Umar Bazyani. has been apprehended and has revealed valuable information about the group. He has been replaced, but the identity of his successor was not revealed in the BBC report.
- The commander for the northern region is Husayn Salim.
- The commander for the Al-Anbar Province is Abdallah Abu-Azzam.
- The commander for Mosul is Abu-Tal’at.
- Al-Zarqawi’s deputy and chief aid is Abu-Mahdi al-Shami. It is believed he may be of Syrian nationality.
- The media department of Tawhid wa Jihad is supervised by Hasan Ibrahim.
- There are 500 fighters operating in Al-Fallujah, under the command of a soldier with the pseudonym of “Abu-Nawas al-Falluji.”
- There are 60 fighters operating in Al-Anbar, 50 in Baghdad, 50 in Samarra, 80 in Al-Diyali Province, and 150 fighters in Al-Qa’im near the Syrian borders.
- Al-Zarqawi’s movement possesses hiding places for weapons and explosives in several locations in Iraq.
- Tawhid wa Jihad wants to transform Iraq into a “hell” for Iraqis by keeping the war buringing and thereby preventing the establishment of a stable and legitimate government through elections. It also seeks to incite civil strife between the Sunnis and the Shi’is.
- According to European diplomatic sources, Abu-Mus’ab al-Zarqawi greatly admires the Al-Qa’idah leader, Usamah bin Ladin, but al-Zarqawi is not subordinate to him.
- Al-Zarqawi aspires instead to compete with Bin-Ladin for the leadership of “the hard-line jihadist Islamic movements.” Al-Zarqawi seeks to turn Iraq into a “new Afghanistan,” a theater for launching terrorist operations that can be exported globally.
- There is some dispute among the sources of the report over whether Al-Zarqawi was a connecting link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qai’dah. Some believe the communications between Iraqi officials and Al-Qai’dah were direct and carried out without the intercession of Al-Zarqawi.
- ”The European sources disclosed that the security and intelligence services in a number of European countries have information that Al-Zarqawi is ‘determined’ to carry out an operation similar to that of 11 September either in the United States or in one of the European countries. This will be accomplished with the help of secret networks and cells that belong to him and are active and concentrated in some of the European countries and, perhaps, even in the American theatre.”
Labels: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda, Al-Qa'idah, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaida, Al-Tawhid wa al-Jihad Group, Iraq, Osama bin Laden, September 11, Umar Bazyani