Tag Archives: Islamic extremist

Sally Anne Jones – Wants to come Home

Isis recruiter Sally Jones reportedly wants to leave Raqqa and return to Britain

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Sally Jones, the leading female recruiter for Isis, reportedly wants to leave Raqqa and come home to Britain. The former punk rocker who married a now-dead Isis fighter and took her son to Syria has been “crying and wants to get back to Britain,” according to reports.

Sky News spoke to an immigrant to the so-called Islamic caliphate now under Kurdish guard in a refugee camp who said that few immigrants wanted to join the war. “Aisha” told Sky News that she knew Jones

When asked if she met many British people, Aisha replied:

“I know one-Umma Hussain al Britani”.

She used Jones’ nom de guerre, according to Sky News. Jones was married to Junaid Hussain, Isis’ chief of digital jihad who was killed by a US drone strike in 2015.

“She lost her husband in battle last year. She had one boy,” Aisha continued.

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Jones’ son Jojo was born in the UK and is about 12 years old. The boy’s grandparents and father expressed their fears in 2016 that he had been brainwashed into becoming an executioner for the terrorist group. A chilling video released by Isis shows a group of boys executing five Kurdish fighters.

Aisha said: “She was crying and wants to get back to Britain but Isis is preventing her because she is now a military wife. She told me she wish to go to her country.” Sky News noted that if that is in fact what Jones wants, she will have to be prepared to give up her jihadi recruiting and prepare to exchange life in Raqqa for a lifetime in prison.

Jones reportedly rose up a US kill list back in May, with analysts believing she was behind several Isis terror plots. “Mrs Terror,” as Jones has been dubbed, is reportedly behind more than 10 operations that targeted army personnel and civilians.

See Sally Anne Jones 

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The ISIS Hostage – One Man’s True Story of 13 Months in Captivity

 The ISIS Hostage

Click to Buy

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One Man’s True Story of 13 Months in Captivity

This is one of  the most horrifying and disturbing  books I have ever read and the fact the Daniel survived his captivity and  the constant physical and mental torture at the hands of these barbaric ISIS terrorists –  is testimony to the depths of suffering man can endure when faced with almost insurmountable  odds and utter despair .

The book gives a brutal insight into the barbaric and inhumane cruelty of ISIS’s merchants of death and exposes the psychopathic   wickedness of the British IS  cell known as “The Beatles “ and their total disregard for the safety and welfare of those they were holding in captivity. All released hostages stated that these Monsters were the most brutal and harsh IS members  whose job was to guard them and Jihadi John inflicted the worse misery and cruelty on those he watched over.

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Jihadi John

Thankfully Karma has now  caught up with this B*****d and he is now burning in the eternal flames of hell!

See The Beatles Terrorist Cell

   

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Four of the freed hostages – Federico, Daniel, Pierre and Didier

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The ISIS Hostage

In May 2013, freelance photographer Daniel Rye was captured in Syria and held prisoner by Islamic State for thirteen months, along with eighteen other hostages. The ISIS Hostage tells the dramatic and heart-breaking story of Daniel’s ordeal and details the misery inflicted upon him by the British guards, which included Jihadi John.

This tense and riveting account also follows Daniel’s family and the nerve-wracking negotiations with his kidnappers. It traces their horrifying journey through impossible dilemmas and offers a rare glimpse into the secret world of the investigation launched to locate and free not only Daniel, but also the American journalist and fellow hostage James Foley.

Written with Daniel’s full cooperation and based on interviews with former fellow prisoners, jihadists and key figures who worked behind the scenes to secure his release, The ISIS Hostage reveals for the first time the torment suffered by the captives and tells a moving and terrifying story of friendship, torture and survival.

Reviews

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Buy the Book

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ISIS Hostages

Foreigners held  captive with Daniel by ISIS and their fate

Name :  Daniel Rye

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Whilst in Captivity

 

Nationality: Danish

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Occupation: Photographer

Kidnapped:17th May 2013

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Outcome: Ransom paid

Released 19th June 2014

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Name :Didier Francois

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Nationality: French

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Occupation: Journalist

Kidnapped: 6th June 2013

Outcome: Ransom  Paid

Released 19th April 2014

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Name : Edouard Elias

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Nationality: French

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Occupation: Photographer

Kidnapped: 6th June 2013

Outcome: Ransom Paid

Released 19th April 2014

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Name : James Foley

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Nationality: American

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Occupation: Journalist

Kidnapped: 22md November 2012

Outcome: Killed 19th August 2014

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See Here for more details on James Foley

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Name :John Cantlie

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Nationality:  British

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Occupation: Journalist

Kidnapped: 22nd November 2012

Outcome: Still in Captivity

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See Here for more details on John Cantlie

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Name :Nicolas Henin

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Nationality: French

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Occupation: Journalist

Kidnapped: 22nnd June 2013

Outcome: Released 19th April 2014

Ransom rumoured to have been paid

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Name :Pierre Torres

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Nationality: French

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Occupation: Journalist

Kidnapped:22nd June 2013

Outcome: Released 19th April 2014

Ransom rumoured to have been paid

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Name :David Haines

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Nationality: British

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Occupation: Aid Worker

Kidnapped: 12th March 2013

Outcome: Killed September 13th 2014

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See Here for more details on David Haines

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Name :Federico Motka 

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Nationality: Italian

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Occupation: Aid Worker

Kidnapped: 12th March 2013

Outcome: Released 26th May 2014

Ransom rumoured to have been paid

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Name :Steven Sotloff

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Nationality: American

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Occupation: Journalist

Kidnapped: 4th August 2013

Outcome: Killed 31st August 2014

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See Here for more details on Steven Sotloff

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Name :Javier Espinosa

Former hostage Javier Espinosa

Nationality: Spanish

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Occupation: Journalist

Kidnapped:16th September  2013

Outcome: Released 30th  March 2014

Ransom Paid

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Name : Marc Marginedas

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Nationality: Spanish

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Occupation: Journalist

Kidnapped:4th September  2013

Outcome: Released 25th February 2014

Ransom rumoured to have been paid

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Name : Peter Kassig

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Nationality: American

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Occupation: Aid Worker

Kidnapped:1st October 2013

Outcome: Killed 16th November 2014

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See Here for more details on Peter Kassig

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Name : Ricardo Vilanova

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Nationality: Spanish

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Occupation: Photographer

Kidnapped: 16th September 2013

Outcome: Released 30th March 2014

Ransom rumoured to have been paid

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Name : Toni Neukirch

Nationality: German

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Occupation: Aid Worker

Kidnapped: Date Unknown

Outcome: Released 19th June 2014

Ransom rumoured to have been paid

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Name :Alan Henning

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Nationality: British

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Occupation: Aid Worker

Kidnapped: 26th December 2013

Outcome: Killed 3rd October 2014

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See Here for more details on Alan Henning

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Name : Sergey Gorbunov

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Nationality: Russian

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Occupation: Unknown

Kidnapped: Date Unknown

Outcome: Killed  March 2014

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Name :Kayla Mueller

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Nationality: American

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Occupation: Aid Worker

Kidnapped: 4th August 2013

Outcome: Killed 6th February 2015

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See here for more details on Kayla Mueller

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Name : Dan

Nationality: Danish

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Occupation: Aid  Worker

Kidnapped: 2nd January 2014

Outcome: 14th May 2014

Ransom Paid

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Name : Three Unknown Women

Nationality: Unknown

Occupation: Aid Workers

Kidnapped: 2nd January 2014

Outcome: 14th Mamie 2014

See Why ISIS Hostages Are So Calm Before Their Execution

See Fate of ISIS hostages for more details

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Camp Speicher Massacre 12th June 2014

Camp Speicher Massacre

 12th  June 2014

 

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Iraqi soldiers carry coffins containing the remains of ten of their comrades who were killed in Camp Speicher massacre.

Salahuddin – (IraqiNews.com) High Commission for Human rights announced on Wednesday pulling bodies of 25 victims of the massacre of Camp Speicher from Tigris River in Tikrit, and pointed out that it is keen to reveal the crimes, genocides and violations committed by the Islamic State extremist group.

The Commission said in a press release, “The commission followed the information about the discovery of a mass grave in al-Kosour area in Salahuddin province, and it held a number of meetings with the concerned authorities to open graves and pull the remains of martyrs from the Tigris River.”

“These efforts allowed the divers of River Emergency Directorate to pull the bodies of 25 victims of Camp Speicher massacre and handed them to Salahuddin Police Directorate,” the release explained.

The commission also renewed its condemnation of the dangerous violations committed by ISIS terrorist gangs, including genocides and crimes against humanity, and emphasized its humanitarian and national role to serve the Iraqi people.

On 12 June 2014, the Islamic State extremist group (ISIS) killed at least 1,700 Shia Iraqi Air Force cadets in an attack on Camp Speicher in Tikrit.

Original story IraqiNews.com

The Attack

&

Background

 

Over 1500 Killed

 

 

On 12 June 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) killed at least 1,566 Shia Iraqi Air Force cadets in an attack on Camp Speicher in Tikrit. At the time of the attack there were between 4,000 and 11,000 unarmed cadets in the camp.

Alleged ISIS fighters singled out Shia and non-Muslim cadets from Sunni ones and murdered them. The Iraqi government blamed the massacre on both ISIS and members from the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party – Iraq Region.

Attack

Iraqi politician Mish’an al-Jubori stated:

“Some of the chief officers of the camp ordered the cadets to have a rest for 15 days and to go to their families, with civilian clothes.  While they were walking on the highway looking for a bus to take them near Baghdad. Then two buses being driven by Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim, the son of Saddam Hussein‘s half brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti, stopped near them with 10 armed men inside of them.

They told the cadets that they were from the Arab tribes of Tikrit, and told them to follow them until they find buses to get them to Baghdad. Instead, several buses with ISIS members in them kidnapped the cadets and brought them to the Al-Qusour Al-Re’asiya region (The Presidential Palaces), where they committed the massacre.”

Several survivors assured that their head officers in the camp forced them to leave it.

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Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director for Human Rights Watch, stated

“The photos and satellite images from Tikrit provided a strong evidence of a horrible war crime that needs further investigation. [ISIS] and other abusive forces should know that the eyes of Iraqis and the world are watching”.

The HRW also said that ISIS posted on its websites many videos and photographs showing how they beheaded, shot, and choked the victims while they celebrated.

The photos show masked ISIS fighters tying up the cadets and loading them up on trucks, with other photographs showing ISIS fighters executing dozens of the cadets while they are lying down. ISIS propaganda videos show them shooting at hundreds of lined up men in mass graves in the desert. Some cadets faked their death, covering themselves with blood and lying down to escape at night.

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Survivor Ali Hussein Kadhim told his story to the New York Times following his escape from the massacre.

The Islamic State released the videos, as part of their propaganda video titled ‘Upon the Prophetic Methodology’. The cadets are seen to be cramped upon trucks, some of them wearing civilian clothes to hide their actual military uniform. Most of them lied on the ground, with their jeans stripped to reveal camouflages underneath. Some of the prisoners were forced to decry Iraq’s prime minister, others forced to say ‘Long Live the Islamic State’. Some of them lined up as a cadet was bashed with a rifle. The executions vary, from shooting them one by one to shooting them while lying down many times to ensure death.

Aftermath

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The Iraqi government revealed that 57 members of Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party – Iraq Region were a part of the massacre.

Although pictures showed that every armed man was from ISIS, the government stated

“Without any doubts and suspicion, all of these criminals are from the banned Ba’ath Party.”

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Sa’dun al-Dulaimi

The minister of defence, Sa’dun al-Dulaimi, stated that the massacre wasn’t sectarian in nature. although, the spokesman of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Qasim Atta, stated that there are almost 11,000 cadets and soldiers missing from Camp Speicher, he also stated that thousands were executed in near the Presidential Palaces, al-Bu Agail region and the Badoush prison by sectarian violence.

On 2 September, more than 100 members of the families of the killed and missing cadets and soldiers broke into the Iraqi Parliament and hit three of the security guards. After a day, a session started in the parliament with the attendance of representatives of the families and Sa’dun al-Dulaimi, along with other military officials to discuss the massacre.

On 16 September, the Kurdish Asayish arrested 4 people suspected to be involved in the massacre in southern Kirkuk. An unnamed security source stated:

“The operation was executed by relying on intelligence information to arrest them.”

On 18 September, the Iraqi Human Rights ministry stated that as of 17 September, the total of missing soldiers and cadets was 1095,  denying the most popular figure of 1700 soldiers having been killed. The ministry added:

“The ministry relied in its statistics on spreading forms on the families of the missing people in Baghdad and the other Provinces within its quest to document the crimes and violations that the terrorist group of the Islamic State is committing towards our people.”

The Iraqi government ordered to pay 10,000,000 IQD (equivalent to US$8,600) to the families of the missing cadets.

Following the Iraqi forces’ victory over ISIS in Tikrit in early April 2015, mass graves containing some of the murdered cadets were located and the decomposed corpses began to be exhumed.

Two of the alleged perpetrators of the massacre were arrested in Forssa, Finland, in December 2015. The suspects were identified from ISIS propaganda videos in which the executions of 11 men took place. Police did not disclose whether the men had made applications for asylum in Finland.

In August 2016 thirty-six men were hanged for their part in the massacre.

On 6 September 2016, mass graves were found by the Kata’ib al-Imam brigade containing the remains of over 30 people killed in the massacre.

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Justice ?

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Of the 600 people wanted by Iraqi authorities in connection with the massacre, only 24 people have been convicted so far.

In July, a group of 28 men went on trial in Baghdad over the Camp Speicher killings, all but four of the men were given death sentences, with the remainder acquitted for lack of evidence.

The sentencing was greeted by cheers from the families of victims present, with many shouting “God is Great” and “Ya Hussein”, in reference to a revered Shia figure.

See Aljeera for full story

The Sheikh of Slaughters – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

The Founding Father of Islamic State

 

 

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (Arabic: أبو مصعب الزرقاوي‎‎, About this sound pronunciation  ’Abū Muṣ‘ab az-Zarqāwī, Abu Musab from Zarqa; October 20, 1966 – June 7, 2006), born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh (أحمد فضيل النزال الخلايله, ’Aḥmad Faḍīl an-Nazāl al-Ḫalāyla), was a militant Islamist from Jordan who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan. He became known after going to Iraq and being responsible for a series of bombings, beheadings, and attacks during the Iraq War, reportedly

“turning an insurgency against US troops” in Iraq “into a Shia-Sunni civil war”.

He was sometimes known as “Shaykh of the slaughterers”.

He formed al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in the 1990s, and led it until his death in June 2006. Zarqawi took responsibility, on several audio and video recordings, for numerous acts of violence in Iraq including suicide bombings and hostage executions. Zarqawi opposed the presence of U.S. and Western military forces in the Islamic world, as well as the West’s support for the existence of Israel. In late 2004 he joined al-Qaeda, and pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden.

After this al-Tawhid wal-Jihad became known as Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, also known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and al-Zarqawi was given the al-Qaeda title “Emir of Al Qaeda in the Country of Two Rivers”.

In September 2005, he declared “all-out war” on Shi’ites in Iraq, after the Iraqi government offensive on insurgents in the Sunni town of Tal Afar.  He dispatched numerous suicide bombers throughout Iraq to attack American soldiers and areas with large concentrations of Shia militias. He is also thought to be responsible for the 2005 bombing of three hotels in Amman, Jordan.

Zarqawi was killed in a targeted killing by a joint U.S. force on June 7, 2006, while attending a meeting in an isolated safehouse in Hibhib, a small village approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) west-northwest of Baqubah. One United States Air Force F-16C jet dropped two 500-pound (230 kg) guided bombs on the safehouse.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
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Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Key insurgency leader in Iraq from 2004 to 2006
1st Emir of Al-Qaeda in Iraq
In office
October 17, 2004 – June 7, 2006
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Abu Ayyub al-Masri
1st Emir of Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad
In office
1999 – October 17, 2004
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Merger with Al-Qaeda
1st Emir of the Mujahideen Shura Council
In office
January 15, 2006 – June 7, 2006
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Abu Ayyub al-Masri
Personal details
Born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh
أحمد فضيل النزال الخلايله

(1966-10-20)20 October 1966
Zarqa, Jordan
Died 7 June 2006(2006-06-07) (aged 39)
Hibhib, Iraq
Nationality Jordanian
Children 5
Religion Sunni Islam (Jihadism)
Military service
Allegiance Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (1999–2004)
Flag of Jihad.svg Al-Qaeda (2004–2006)

Years of service 1999 – June 7, 2006
Rank Emir of Al-Qaeda in Iraq

Emir of the Mujahideen Shura Council

Battles/wars Iraq War
Iraqi Insurgency

 

Personal life

Early life

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Abu Musab was a sturdy man who was not really very good at words. He expressed himself spontaneously and briefly. He would not compromise any of his beliefs.
— Saif al-Adel

Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh (Arabic: أحمد فضيل النزال الخلايلة‎‎ ’Aḥmad Faḍīl an-Nazāl al-Ḫalāyla), is believed to have been al-Zarqawi’s real name. “Abu Musab” literally translates to “Musab’s father”, born in the name Ahmed al-Khalayleh to an impoverished Palestinian-Jordanian family in 1966.He was raised in Zarqa, an industrial town located 17 miles north of Amman.

Zarqawi is reported as having been a high school dropout and a petty criminal in his youth.

1989–1998 Afghanistan War, Jund al-Sham, jail

 

In the late 1980s, Zarqawi went to Afghanistan to join the Mujahideen who were fighting the invading Soviet troops. Arriving there in 1989, the Soviets were already leaving. Instead of fighting, he became a reporter for an Islamist newsletter and met with Osama bin Laden.

According to a report by the The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

“Zarqawi’s criminal past and extreme views on takfir (accusing another Muslim of heresy and thereby justifying his killing) created major friction and distrust with bin Laden when the two first met in Afghanistan in 1999.”

He returned to Jordan, and sometime in 1989–1992 he helped start the local militant group Jund al-Sham (‘The Syria Division’).

He was arrested in Jordan after guns and explosives were found in his home and sent to prison in 1992. In prison, he attempted to draft his cell mates into joining him to overthrow the rulers of Jordan, a former prison mate told Time magazine in 2004.

According to Jordanian officials and acquaintances, Zarqawi developed a reputation as a cellblock enforcer and adopted more radical Islamic beliefs.

1999–2000 Training of Jihadists

In 1999, Zarqawi was released from prison in a general amnesty by Jordan’s King Abdullah.  Within months after his release, according to Jordanian officials, Zarqawi tried to resurrect his Jund al-Sham. Then, also according to Jordanian officials, he was involved in the millennium plot—a bid to bomb the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman (Jordan) before New Year’s Day 2000.

The plot was discovered, and Zarqawi fled to Pakistan.

When Pakistan revoked his visa, he crossed into Afghanistan, where he met, still according to Jordanian officials and also German court testimony, with Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders in Kandahar and Kabul.  He asked them for assistance and money to set up his own training camp in Herat.

With some “small seed money”  of $200,000 from Osama bin Laden, the camp opened soon and attracted Jordanian militants.

That camp was either for his group Jund al-Sham—as one, indirect, source contended —or for his newly started group Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad—as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy claimed —or he started one or two camps for both of those groups in Herat in 1999; or it is also possible that Zarqawi set up only one camp for only one group known by those two different names in 1999. GlobalSecurity.org called it “a camp near Herat, reportedly specialised in manufacturing poisons”

2001 Resistance to U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan

In early September 2001, Zarqawi was in Iran around the same time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA.

After the October 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, Zarqawi returned in Afghanistan to help repel the assault with Taliban and al-Qaida fighters, where he either suffered cracked ribs following the collapse of a bombed house or, according to a Jordanian intelligence source, was wounded in the chest during a firefight, late 2001.

He fled to Iran in December 2001 or January 5, 2002 and received medical treatment in Mashhad. The Iranian government reportedly refused Jordanian requests to extradite Zarqawi, but circumstantial evidence suggests that Iranian authorities may have restricted Zarqawi’s activities to some extent.

2002 Involvement in the Murder of Laurence Foley

The U.S. government contended (in 2003 in a U.N. speech) that Zarqawi received medical treatment in Baghdad, Iraq, from March until May 2002. About that time, Jordanian authorities asked Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to extradite Zarqawi for his suspected role in the millennium plot of 1999 (see above).

By and during the summer of 2002, Zarqawi’s location and activities appear in reports that conflict with one another. In 2004, Jordanian court documents said that Zarqawi, during this summer, began training a band of fighters at a base in Syria, which group on October 28, 2002 shot and killed Laurence Foley, U.S. senior administrator of U.S. Agency for International Development in Amman, Jordan.

According to Arab intelligence sources in 2004, Zarqawi was still in Syria late in 2002, when U.S. and Jordan requested his extradition from Syria, which Syria refused.

But the U.S. 2006 Senate Report on Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq reported that Al-Zarqawi was in Baghdad from May until late November 2002.

A little later, Zarqawi, the Senate report claimed, fled to Iran and northeastern Iraq.

2003–2006 Terrorist Activities in and Around Iraq

 

U.S. soldiers in Fallujah, November 2004. Al-Zarqawi’s network was the main target.

In February 2003, according to Arab intelligence sources, Zarqawi in eastern Iran planned military resistance to the expected U.S. invasion of Iraq. And, by March 2003, according to British intelligence, Zarqawi’s network had set up sleeper cells in Baghdad to resist an expected U.S. occupation.

Over 2003–2006, Zarqawi and his group Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (1999–2004) later called Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’) (2004–2006) are accused of dozens of violent and deadly attacks in Iraq, which had, after the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, fallen into chaos and anarchy. Some of these attacks Zarqawi indeed claimed responsibility for, as well as for some attacks in Morocco, Turkey and Jordan, and some foiled attacks in Turkey and Jordan, all listed in our next section ‘Attacks‘.

Zarqawi targeted Shia Islamic mosques as well as civilians, U.N. representatives, Iraqi government institutions, Egypt’s ambassador, Russian diplomats and foreign civilians in Iraq and hotel visitors in Jordan, possibly also Christian churches, the Jordanian embassy, and the U.S.-led Multi-National Force in Iraq, most of whom he professedly hated either as apostates of Islam,  or as “infidels” “giving Palestine to the Jew , or as individuals oppressing and “humiliating our [Islamic] people”  or “nation”.

U.S. chasing Zarqawi, 2003–2006

The Bush Administration in February 2003 in the U.N. Security Council used Zarqawi’s alleged presence in Iraq to justify the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

On October 15, 2004, the U.S. State Department added Zarqawi and the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad group to its “list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations” and ordered a freeze on any assets that the group might have in the United States.

By May 2005, Zarqawi was the most wanted man in Jordan and Iraq, having claimed scores of attacks in Iraq against Iraqis and foreigners, and being blamed for perhaps even more. The U.S. government then offered a $25m reward for information leading to his capture, the same amount offered for the capture of bin Laden before March 2004.

On February 24, 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice‘s FBI also added al-Zarqawi to the “Seeking Information – War on Terrorism” list, the first time that he had ever been added to any of the FBI’s three major “wanted” lists.

For the U.S. eventually killing Zarqawi in 2006, see the section Death.

Four wives, five children

  • Zarqawi’s first wife, Umm Mohammed, was a Jordanian woman who was around 40 years old when Zarqawi died in June 2006. She lived in Zarqa, Jordan, along with their four children, including a seven-year-old son, Musab. She had advised Zarqawi to leave Iraq temporarily and give orders to his deputies from outside the country.

 

“He gave me an angry look and said, ‘Me, me? I can’t betray my religion and get out of Iraq. In the Name of Allah, I will not leave Iraq until victory or martyrdom’,”

she said of al-Zarqawi.

  • Zarqawi’s second wife, Isra, was 14 years old when he married her. She was the daughter of Yassin Jarrad, a Palestinian Islamic militant, who is blamed for the killing in 2003 of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, the Iraqi Shia leader.  She bore him a child when she was 15 and was killed along with Zarqawi and their child.
  • Al-Zarqawi’s third wife was an Iraqi who might have perished in the airstrike with her husband.
  • Zarqawi is also said to have married a woman from a Pakistani tribe around Peshawar.

Attacks

Attacks outside Iraq

In 1999, Zarqawi, according to Jordanian officials, became involved in a plot to blow up the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman, where many Israeli and American tourists lodged, before New Year’s Day 2000. He failed in this attempt and fled to Afghanistan and then entered Iraq via Iran after the overthrow of the Taliban in late 2001.

Laurence Foley

From Iraq he started his terrorist campaign by hiring men to kill Laurence Foley who was a senior U.S. diplomat working for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Jordan. On October 28, 2002, Foley was assassinated outside his home in Amman. Under interrogation by Jordanian authorities, three suspects confessed that they had been armed and paid by Zarqawi to perform the assassination. U.S. officials believe that the planning and execution of the Foley assassination was led by members of Afghan Jihad, the International Mujaheddin Movement, and al-Qaeda. One of the leaders, Salim Sa’d Salim Bin-Suwayd, was paid over $27,858 for his work in planning assassinations in Jordan against U.S., Israeli, and Jordanian government officials. Suwayd was arrested in Jordan for the murder of Foley.

Zarqawi was again sentenced in absentia in Jordan; this time, as before, his sentence was death.

Zarqawi, according to the BBC, was named as the brains behind a series of deadly bomb attacks in Casablanca, Morocco and Istanbul, Turkey in 2003.  U.S. officials believe that Zarqawi trained others in the use of poison (ricin ) for possible attacks in Europe. Zarqawi had also planned to attack a NATO summit in June 2004. According to suspects arrested in Turkey, Zarqawi sent them to Istanbul to organize an attack on a NATO summit there on June 28 or 29, 2004.

On April 26, 2004, Jordanian authorities announced they had broken up an al-Qaeda plot to use chemical weapons in Amman. Among the targets were the U.S. Embassy, the Jordanian prime minister’s office and the headquarters of Jordanian intelligence. In a series of raids, the Jordanians seized 20 tons of chemicals, including blistering agents, nerve gas  and numerous explosives. Also seized were three trucks equipped with specially modified plows, apparently designed to crash through security barricades.

Jordanian state television aired a videotape of four men admitting they were part of the plot. One of the conspirators, Azmi Al-Jayousi, said that he was acting on the orders of Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi. On February 15, 2006, Jordan’s High Court of Security sentenced nine men, including al-Zarqawi, to death for their involvement in the plot. Zarqawi was convicted of planning the entire attack from his post in Iraq, funding the operation with nearly $120,000, and sending a group of Jordanians into Jordan to execute the plan. Eight of the defendants were accused of belonging to a previously unknown group, “Kata’eb al-Tawhid” or Battalions of Monotheism, which was headed by al-Zarqawi and linked to al Qaeda.

The November 2005 Amman bombings that killed sixty people in three hotels, including several officials of the Palestinian Authority and members of a Chinese defense delegation, were claimed by Zarqawi’s group ‘Al-Qaeda in Iraq’.

Attacks inside Iraq

The Weekly Standard reports that, before the invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi ran a “terrorist haven” in Kurdish northern Iraq. According to a March 2003 British intelligence report, Zarqawi had set up “sleeper cells” in Baghdad before the Iraq war. The report stated

“Reporting since (February) suggests that senior al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has established sleeper cells in Baghdad, to be activated during a U.S. occupation of the city… These cells apparently intend to attack U.S. targets using car bombs and other weapons. (It is also possible that they have received [chemical and biological] materials from terrorists in the [Kurdish Autonomous Zone]), … al Qaeda-associated terrorists continued to arrive in Baghdad in early March.”

American hostage Nick Berg seated, with five men standing over him. The man directly behind him, alleged to be Zarqawi, is the one who beheaded Berg.

In May 2004, a video appeared on an alleged al-Qaeda website showing a group of five men, their faces covered with keffiyeh or balaclavas, beheading American civilian Nicholas Berg, who had been abducted and taken hostage in Iraq weeks earlier. The CIA claimed that the speaker on the tape wielding the knife that killed Berg was al-Zarqawi. The video opens with the title “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi slaughters an American”.

The speaker states that the murder was in retaliation for U.S. abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison (see Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal).  Following the death of al-Zarqawi, CNN spoke with Nicholas’s father and long-time anti-war activist Michael Berg, who stated that al-Zarqawi’s killing would lead to further vengeance and was not a cause for rejoicing.

Zarqawi is also believed to have personally beheaded another American civilian, Owen Eugene Armstrong, in September 2004.

United States officials implicated Zarqawi in over 700 killings in Iraq during the invasion, mostly from bombings. Since March 2004, that number rose to the thousands.

According to the United States State Department, Zarqawi was responsible for the Canal Hotel bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in Iraq on August 19, 2003. This attack killed twenty-two people, including the United Nations secretary general‘s special Iraqi envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Zarqawi’s biggest alleged atrocities in Iraq included the attacks on the Shia shrines in Karbala and Baghdad in March 2004, which killed over 180 people, and the car bomb attacks in Najaf and Karbala in December 2004, which claimed over 60 lives.

Zarqawi is believed by the former Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq to have written an intercepted letter to the al-Qaeda leadership in February 2004 on the progress of the “Iraqi jihad“. However, al-Qaeda denied they had written the letter. The U.S. military believes Zarqawi organized the February 2006 attack on the Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, in an attempt to trigger sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi’ites in Iraq.

In a January 2005 internet recording, Zarqawi condemned democracy as “the big American lie” and said participants in Iraq’s January 30 election were enemies of Islam. Zarqawi stated

“We have declared a bitter war against democracy and all those who seek to enact it… Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion [and that is] against the rule of Allah.”

 

On April 25, 2006, a video appearing to show Zarqawi surfaced.  In the tape, the man says holy warriors are fighting on despite a three-year “crusade”. U.S. experts told the BBC they believed the recording was genuine. One part of the recording shows a man – who bears a strong resemblance to previous pictures of Zarqawi – sitting on the floor and addressing a group of masked men with an automatic rifle at his side.

“Your mujahideen sons were able to confront the most ferocious of crusader campaigns on a Muslim state,”

the man says. Addressing U.S. President George W. Bush, he says:

“Why don’t you tell people that your soldiers are committing suicide, taking drugs and hallucination pills to help them sleep?” “By Allah”, he says, “your dreams will be defeated by our blood and by our bodies. What is coming is even worse.”

 

The speaker in the video also reproaches the U.S. for its “arrogance and insolence” in rejecting a truce offered by “our prince and leader”, Osama Bin Laden. The United States Army aired an unedited tape of Zarqawi in May 2006 highlighting the fact that he did not know how to clear a stoppage on the stolen M249 Squad Automatic Weapon he was using.

Attempts to provoke U.S. attack on Iran

A document found in Zarqawi’s safe house indicates that the group was trying to provoke the U.S. to attack Iran in order to reinvigorate the insurgency in Iraq and to weaken American forces in Iraq.

“The question remains, how to draw the Americans into fighting a war against Iran? It is not known whether America is serious in its animosity towards Iran, because of the big support Iran is offering to America in its war in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Hence, it is necessary first to exaggerate the Iranian danger and to convince America, and the West in general, of the real danger coming from Iran…”

The document then outlines six ways to incite war between the two nations . Some experts questioned the authenticity of the document.

Links to al-Qaeda

After the 2001 war in Afghanistan, Zarqawi appeared on a U.S. list of most-wanted al-Qaeda terrorists still at large in early 2002.

According to The Washington Post and some other sources, he formally swore loyalty (Bay’ah) to bin Laden in October 2004 and was in turn appointed bin Laden’s deputy. Zarqawi then changed the name of his Monotheism and Jihad network to Tanẓīm Qāʻidat al-Jihād fī Bilād al-Rāfidayn, which become commonly known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

Pre–U.S. invasion of Iraq

Before the invasion of Afghanistan, Zarqawi was the leader of an Islamic militant group with some connections to al-Qaeda. In an interview on Al-Majd TV, former al-Qaeda member Walid Khan, who was in Afghanistan fighting alongside Zarqawi’s group explained that from the day al-Zarqawi’s group arrived, there were disagreements, differences of opinion with bin Laden.

Saif al-Adel, later bin Laden’s military chief and an Egyptian who attempted to overthrow the Egyptian government, saw merit in Zarqawi’s overall objective of overthrowing the Jordanian monarchy. He intervened and smoothed the relations between Zarqawi and Al Qaeda leadership. It was agreed that Zarqawi would be given the funds to start up his training camp outside the Afghan city of Herat, near the Iranian border.

Zarqawi’s group continued to receive funding from Osama bin Laden and pursued “a largely distinct, if occasionally overlapping agenda”, according to The Washington Post. Counterterrorism experts told The Washington Post that while Zarqawi accepted al-Qaeda’s financial help to set up a training camp in Afghanistan he ran it independently and while bin Laden was planning September 11, Zarqawi was busy developing a plot to topple the Jordanian monarchy and attack Israel.

The Washington Post also reported that German Intelligence wiretaps found that in the fall of 2001 Zarqawi grew angry when his members were raising money in Germany for al-Qaeda’s local leadership. “If something should come from their side, simply do not accept it,” Zarqawi told one of his followers, according to a recorded conversation that was played at a trial of four alleged Zarqawi operatives in Düsseldorf.

In 2001, bin Laden repeatedly summoned al-Zarqawi from Herat to Kandahar, asking that he take an oath of allegiance to him. Al-Zarqawi refused; he didn’t want to take sides against the Northern Alliance, and doubted the fervor of bin Laden and the Taliban. When the United States launched its air war inside Afghanistan, on October 7, 2001, al-Zarqawi joined forces with al-Qaeda and the Taliban for the first time. He and his Jund al-Sham fought in and around Herat and Kandahar.

When Zarqawi finally did take the oath in October 2004, it was after eight months of negotiations.

When Shadi Abdellah was arrested in 2002, he cooperated with authorities, but suggested that al-Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden were not as closely linked as previously believed, in large part because al-Zarqawi disagreed with many of the sentiments put forward by Mahfouz Ould al-Walid for al-Qaeda.

In April 2007, former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet released his memoir titled At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. In the book he reveals that in July 2001, an associate of Zarqawi had been detained and, during interrogations, linked Zarqawi with al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah.

Tenet also wrote in his book that Thirwat Shehata and Yussef Dardiri, “assessed by a senior al-Qa’ida detainee to be among the Egyptian Islamic Jihad’s best operational planners”, arrived in Baghdad in May 2002 and were engaged in “sending recruits to train in Zarqawi’s camps”.

Post–U.S. invasion of Iraq

During or shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Zarqawi returned to Iraq, where he met with Bin Laden’s military chief, Saif al-Adel (Muhammad Ibrahim Makawi), who asked him to coordinate the entry of al-Qaeda operatives into Iraq through Syria.

Zarqawi readily agreed and by the fall of 2003 a steady flow of Arab Islamists were infiltrating Iraq via Syria. Although many of these foreign fighters were not members of Tawhid, they became more or less dependent on Zarqawi’s local contacts once they entered the unfamiliar country. Moreover, given Tawhid’s superior intelligence gathering capability, it made little sense for non-Tawhid operatives to plan and carry out attacks without coordinating with Zarqawi’s lieutenants.

Consequentially, Zarqawi came to be recognized as the regional “emir” of Islamist terrorists in Iraq without having sworn fealty to bin Laden.

U.S. intelligence intercepted a January 2004 letter from Zarqawi to al Qaeda and American officials made it public in February 2004. In the letter to bin Laden, Zarqawi wrote:

You, gracious brothers, are the leaders, guides, and symbolic figures of jihad and battle. We do not see ourselves as fit to challenge you, and we have never striven to achieve glory for ourselves. All that we hope is that we will be the spearhead, the enabling vanguard, and the bridge on which the Islamic nation crosses over to the victory that is promised and the tomorrow to which we aspire. This is our vision, and we have explained it. This is our path, and we have made it clear.

If you agree with us on it, if you adopt it as a program and road, and if you are convinced of the idea of fighting the sects of apostasy, we will be your readied soldiers, working under your banner, complying with your orders, and indeed swearing fealty to you publicly and in the news media, vexing the infidels and gladdening those who preach the oneness of Allah. On that day, the believers will rejoice in Allah’s victory. If things appear otherwise to you, we are brothers, and the disagreement will not spoil our friendship. This is a cause in which we are cooperating for the good and supporting jihad. Awaiting your response, may Allah preserve you as keys to good and reserves for Islam and its people.

 

In October 2004, a message on an Islamic Web site posted in the name of the spokesman of Zarqawi’s group announced that Zarqawi had sworn his network’s allegiance to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. The message stated:

 

Numerous messages were passed between ‘Abu Musab’ (Allah protect him) and the al-Qaeda brotherhood over the past eight months, establishing a dialogue between them. No sooner had the calls been cut off than Allah chose to restore them, and our most generous brothers in al-Qaeda came to understand the strategy of the Tawhid wal-Jihad organization in Iraq, the land of the two rivers and of the Caliphs, and their hearts warmed to its methods and overall mission.

Let it be known that al-Tawhid wal-Jihad pledges both its leaders and its soldiers to the mujahid commander, Sheikh ‘Osama bin Laden’ (in word and in deed) and to jihad for the sake of Allah until there is no more discord [among the ranks of Islam] and all of the religion turns toward Allah… By Allah, O sheikh of the mujahideen, if you bid us plunge into the ocean, we would follow you. If you ordered it so, we would obey. If you forbade us something, we would abide by your wishes. For what a fine commander you are to the armies of Islam, against the inveterate infidels and apostates!

On December 27, 2004, Al Jazeera broadcast an audiotape of bin Laden calling Zarqawi “the prince of al Qaeda in Iraq” and asked “all our organization brethren to listen to him and obey him in his good deeds.” Since that time, Zarqawi had referred to his own organization as Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad.

In May 2007, President George W. Bush declassified a U.S. intelligence report that stated that bin Laden had enlisted Zarqawi to plan strikes inside the U.S., and warned that in January 2005 bin Laden had assigned Zarqawi to organize a cell inside Iraq that would be used to plan and carry out attacks against the U.S. “Bin Laden tasked the terrorist Zarqawi … with forming a cell to conduct terrorist attacks outside of Iraq,” Bush stated in a commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy.

“Bin Laden emphasized that America should be Zarqawi’s No. 1 priority.”

Terrorism experts’ view on the alliance

According to experts, Zarqawi gave al-Qaeda a highly visible presence in Iraq at a time when its original leaders went into hiding or were killed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

In turn, al-Qaeda leaders were able to brand a new franchise in Iraq and claim they were at the forefront of the fight to expel U.S. forces. But this relationship was proven to be fragile as Zarqawi angered al-Qaeda leaders by focusing attacks on Iraqi Shias more often than U.S. military. In September 2005, U.S. intelligence officials said they had confiscated a long letter that al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, had written to Zarqawi, bluntly warning that Muslim public opinion was turning against him.

According to Paul Wilkinson, chairman of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland,

“A number of al-Qaeda figures were uncomfortable with the tactics he was using in Iraq … It was quite clear with Zarqawi that as far as the al-Qaeda core leadership goes, they couldn’t control the way in which their network affiliates operated.”

U.S. officials’ view of the alliance

In June 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld conceded that Zarqawi’s ties to Al Qaeda may have been much more ambiguous—and that he may have been more of a rival than a lieutenant to bin Laden. Zarqawi “may very well not have sworn allegiance to [bin Laden]”, Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon briefing.

“Maybe he disagrees with him on something, maybe because he wants to be ‘The Man’ himself and maybe for a reason that’s not known to me.” Rumsfeld added, “someone could legitimately say he’s not Al Qaeda.”

According to the Senate Report on Prewar Intelligence released in September 2006, “in April 2003 the CIA learned from a senior al-Qa’ida detainee that al-Zarqawi had rebuffed several efforts by bin Ladin to recruit him. The detainee claimed that al-Zarqawi had religious differences with bin Ladin and disagreed with bin Laden’s singular focus against the United States.

The CIA assessed in April 2003 that al-Zarqawi planned and directed independent terrorist operations without al Qaeda direction, but assessed that he ‘most likely contracts out his network’s services to al Qaeda in return for material and financial assistance from key al Qaeda facilitators.'”

In the April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate, declassified in September 2006, it asserts, “Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.”

Links to Saddam Hussein

 

Colin Powell‘s U.N. presentation slide showing Al-Zarqawi’s global terrorist network

On February 5, 2003, then Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the U.N. Security Council on the issue of Iraq. Regarding Zarqawi, Powell stated that:

Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda lieutenants. When our coalition ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosive training center camp. And this camp is located in northeastern Iraq. He traveled to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical treatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while he recuperated to fight another day. During this stay, nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there.

These Al Qaeda affiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, and they’ve now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months. We asked a friendly security service to approach Baghdad about extraditing Zarqawi and providing information about him and his close associates. This service contacted Iraqi officials twice, and we passed details that should have made it easy to find Zarqawi. The network remains in Baghdad.

 

Zarqawi recuperated in Baghdad after being wounded while fighting along with Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. According to the 2004 Senate Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq,

“A foreign government service asserted that the IIS (Iraqi Intelligence Service) knew where al-Zarqawi was located despite Baghdad’s claims that it could not find him.”

The Senate Report on Prewar Intelligence also stated:

“As indicated in Iraqi Support for Terrorism, the Iraqi regime was, at a minimum, aware of al-Zarqawi’s presence in Baghdad in 2002 because a foreign government service passed information regarding his whereabouts to Iraqi authorities in June 2002. Despite Iraq’s pervasive security apparatus and its receipt of detailed information about al-Zarqawi’s possible location, however, Iraqi Intelligence told the foreign government service it could not locate al-Zarqawi.”

Jordanian analysis

A Jordanian security official told The Washington Post that documents recovered after the overthrow of Saddam show that Iraqi agents detained some of Zarqawi’s operatives but released them after questioning. He also told The Washington Post that the Iraqis warned the Zarqawi operatives that the Jordanians knew where they were.

The official also told The Washington Post,

“‘We sent many memos to Iraq during this time, asking them to identify his position, where he was, how he got weapons, how he smuggled them across the border,’ but Hussein’s government never responded.”

 

This claim was reiterated by Jordanian King Abdullah II in an interview with Al-Hayat. Abdullah revealed that Saddam Hussein had rejected repeated requests from Jordan to hand over al-Zarqawi. According to Abdullah,

“We had information that he entered Iraq from a neighboring country, where he lived and what he was doing. We informed the Iraqi authorities about all this detailed information we had, but they didn’t respond.”

Abdullah told the Al-Hayat that Jordan exerted “big efforts” with Saddam’s government to extradite al-Zarqawi, but added, “our demands that the former regime hand him over were in vain.”

One high-level Jordanian intelligence official told The Atlantic that al-Zarqawi, after leaving Afghanistan in December 2001, frequently traveled to the Sunni Triangle of Iraq where he expanded his network, recruited and trained new fighters, and set up bases, safe houses, and military training camps. He said, however,

“We know Zarqawi better than he knows himself. And I can assure you that he never had any links to Saddam.”

Counterterrorism scholar Loretta Napoleoni quotes former Jordanian parliamentarian Layth Shubaylat, a radical Islamist opposition figure,  who was personally acquainted with both Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein:

First of all, I don’t think the two ideologies go together, I’m sure the former Iraqi leadership saw no interest in contacting al-Zarqawi or al-Qaeda operatives. The mentality of al-Qaeda simply doesn’t go with the Ba’athist one. When he was in prison in Jordan with Shubaylat, Abu Mos’ab wouldn’t accept me, said Shubaylat, because I’m opposition, even if I’m a Muslim. How could he accept Saddam Hussein, a secular dictator?

U.S. conclusion

A CIA report in late 2004 concluded that there was no evidence Saddam’s government was involved or even aware of this medical treatment, and found no conclusive evidence the regime had harbored Zarqawi. A U.S. official told Reuters that the report was a mix of new information and a look at some older information and did not make any final judgments or come to any definitive conclusions. “To suggest the case is closed on this would not be correct,” the official said.

A U.S. official familiar with the report told Knight-Ridder,

“what is indisputable is that Zarqawi was operating out of Baghdad and was involved in a lot of bad activities.” Another U.S. official summarized the report as such: “The evidence is that Saddam never gave Zarqawi anything.”

According to the 2004 Senate Report on Prewar Intelligence, “The CIA provided four reports detailing the debriefings of Abu Zubaydah, a captured senior coordinator for al-Qaida responsible for training and recruiting. Abu Zubaydah said that he was not aware of a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida. He also said, however, that any relationship would be highly compartmented and went on to name al-Qaida members who he thought had good contacts with the Iraqis.

For instance, Abu Zubaydah indicated that he had heard that an important al-Qaida associate, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, and others had good relationships with Iraqi Intelligence.”

A classified memo obtained by Stephen F. Hayes, prepared by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith in response to questions posed by the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence, stated the following regarding al-Zarqawi:

Sensitive reporting indicates senior terrorist planner and close al Qaeda associate al Zarqawi has had an operational alliance with Iraqi officials. As of October 2002, al Zarqawi maintained contacts with the IIS to procure weapons and explosives, including surface-to-air missiles from an IIS officer in Baghdad. According to sensitive reporting, al Zarqawi was setting up sleeper cells in Baghdad to be activated in case of a U.S. occupation of the city, suggesting his operational cooperation with the Iraqis may have deepened in recent months.

Such cooperation could include IIS provision of a secure operating bases [sic] and steady access to arms and explosives in preparation for a possible U.S. invasion. Al Zarqawi’s procurements from the Iraqis also could support al Qaeda operations against the U.S. or its allies elsewhere.

The memo was a collection of raw intelligence reports and drew no conclusions. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed to Newsweek that the “reports [in the memo] were old, uncorroborated and came from sources of unknown if not dubious credibility”.

The 2006 Senate Report on Prewar Intelligence concluded that Zarqawi was not a link between Saddam and al-Qaeda: “Postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi.” The report also cited the debriefing of a “high-ranking Iraqi official” by the FBI. The official stated that a foreign government requested in October 2002 that the IIS locate five individuals suspected of involvement in the murder of Laurence Foley, which led to the arrest of Abu Yasim Sayyem in early 2003.

The official told the FBI that evidence of Sayyem’s ties to Zarqawi was compelling, and thus, he was “shocked” when Sayemm was ordered released by Saddam. The official stated it “was ludicrous to think that the IIS had any involvement with al-Qaeda or Zarqawi,” and suggested Saddam let Sayyem go because he “would participate in striking U.S. forces when they entered Iraq.”

In 2005, according to the Senate report, the CIA amended its 2004 report to conclude, “the regime did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates.” (page 91–92) An intelligence official familiar with the CIA assessment also told Michael Isikoff of Newsweek magazine that the current draft of the report says that while Zarqawi did likely receive medical treatment in Baghdad in 2002, the report concludes,

“most evidence suggests Saddam Hussein did not provide Zarqawi safe haven before the war, … [but] it also recognizes that there are still unanswered questions and gaps in knowledge about the relationship.”

The Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office website translated a letter dated August 17, 2002 from an Iraqi intelligence official. The letter is part of the Operation Iraqi Freedom documents. The letter asks agents in the country to be on the lookout for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and another unnamed man. Pictures of both men were attached.

The letter issued the following 3 directives:

  1. Instructing your sources to continue their surveillance of the above-mentioned individuals in your area of operations and inform us once you initiate such action.
  2. Coordinate with Directorate 18 to verify the photographs of the above-mentioned with photos of the members of the Jordanian community within your area of operations.
  3. Conduct a comprehensive survey of all tourist facilities (hotels, furnished apartments, and leased homes). Give this matter your utmost attention. Keep us informed.

The documents also contain responses to this request. One response, dated August 2002, states “Upon verifying the information through our sources and friends in the field as well as office (3), we found no information to confirm the presence of the above-mentioned in our area of operation. Please review, we suggest circulating the contents of this message.” Another response, also dated August 2002, states

“After closely examining the data and through our sources and friends in (SATTS: U R A) square, and in Al-Qa’im immigration office, and in Office (3), none of the mentioned individuals are documented to be present in our area of jurisdiction.”

According to ABC News,

“The letter seems to be coming from or going to Trebil, a town on the Iraqi-Jordanian border. Follow up on the presence of those subjects is ordered, as well as a comparison of their pictures with those of Jordanian subjects living in Iraq. (This may be referring to pictures of Abu Musaab al Zarqawi and another man on pages 4–6.)”

In his book At the Center of the Storm, George Tenet writes:

… by the spring and summer of 2002, more than a dozen al-Qa’ida-affiliated extremists converged on Baghdad, with apparently no harassment on the part of the Iraqi government. They found a comfortable and secure environment in which they moved people and supplies to support Zarqawi’s operations in northern Iraq.

 

According to Tenet, while Zarqawi did find a safe haven in Iraq and did supervise camps in northeastern Iraq run by the Kurdish group Ansar al-Islam,

“the intelligence did not show any Iraqi authority, direction, or control over any of the many specific terrorist acts carried out by al-Qa’ida.”

Influence or lack of

How much influence al-Zarqawi had in Iraq and after his death is disputed.

Importance

Writing in 2015, nine years after his death, an (anonymous) author in the New York Review of Books describes al-Zarqawi as having been responsible for “turning an insurgency against US troops” in Iraq “into a Shia-Sunni civil war”

.[1] Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick argues that al-Zarqawi was the founder of “the group that became ISIS“. Among other things, Warrick believes al-Zarqawi expanded the already broad “parameters of violence” in Iraq and the Middle East.

He personally beheaded civilians on video; directed suicide bombs at targets that other jihadis considered off limits like the UN, NGOs, and Arab embassies; and struck Shia religious targets with the ultimately successfully goal of provoking a destabilizing Sunni-Shia civil war. Even Al Qaeda thought he was going too far, … but Zarqawi’s methods proved to have enduring traction long after his death in 2006.

While the US “troop surge” and “Awakening” movement left his movement “all but dead” in 2009, it survived and metastasized into ISIS according to author David Ignatius.

Doubts about his importance

Some months before and after his killing, several sources claimed that Zarqawi was variously a US “Boogeyman” and product of its war propaganda, the product of faulty US intelligence, a US or Israeli agent, did not really exist, was unlikely to be an important insurgent leader because he had no real leadership capabilities, and/or did not behead Nicholas Berg.

According to the Commonwealth Institute his notoriety was the product of U.S. war propaganda designed to promote the image of a demonic enemy figure to help justify continued U.S. military operations in Iraq,  perhaps with the tacit support of jihadi elements who wished to use him as a propaganda tool or as a distraction.

In one report, the conservative newspaper Daily Telegraph described the claim that Zarqawi was the head of the “terrorist network” in Iraq as a “myth”. This report cited an unnamed U.S. military intelligence source to the effect that the Zarqawi leadership “myth” was initially caused by faulty intelligence, but was later accepted because it suited U.S. government political goals.

One Sunni insurgent leader claimed,

“Zarqawi is an American, Israeli and Iranian agent who is trying to keep our country unstable so that the Sunnis will keep facing occupation.”

On February 18, 2006, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr made similar charges:

I believe he is fictitious. He is a knife or a pistol in the hands of the occupier. I believe that all three – the occupation, the takfir (i.e. the practice of declaring other Muslims to be heretics) supporters, and the Saddam supporters – stem from the same source, because the takfir supporters and the Saddam supporters are a weapon in the hands of America and it pins its crimes on them.

 

On April 10, 2006, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. military conducted a major propaganda offensive designed to exaggerate Zarqawi’s role in the Iraqi insurgency. Gen. Mark Kimmitt says of the propaganda campaign that there “was no attempt to manipulate the press”. In an internal briefing, Kimmitt is quoted as stating, “The Zarqawi PSYOP Program is the most successful information campaign to date.” The main goal of the propaganda campaign seems to have been to exacerbate a rift between insurgent forces in Iraq, but intelligence experts worried that it had actually enhanced Zarqawi’s influence.

Col. Derek Harvey, who served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq and then was one of the top officers handling Iraq intelligence issues on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned an Army meeting in 2004,

“Our own focus on Zarqawi has enlarged his caricature, if you will – made him more important than he really is, in some ways.”

While Pentagon spokespersons state unequivocally that PSYOPs may not be used to influence American citizens, there is little question that the information disseminated through the program has found its way into American media sources. The Washington Post also notes, “One briefing slide about U.S. ‘strategic communications’ in Iraq, prepared for Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, describes the ‘home audience’ as one of six major targets of the American side of the war.”

On July 4, 2006, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad Zalmay Khalilzad, in an interview with the BBC, said: “In terms of the level of violence, it (the death of al-Zarqawi) has not had any impact at this point… the level of violence is still quite high.” But Khalilzad maintained his view that the killing had though encouraged some insurgent groups to “reach out” and join government reconciliation talks; he believed that previously these groups were intimidated by Zarqawi’s presence.

On June 8, 2006, on the BBC’s Question Time program, the Respect Party MP George Galloway referred to al-Zarqawi as “a ‘Boogeyman‘, built up by the Americans to try and perpetrate the lie that the resistance in Iraq are by foreigners, and that the mass of the Iraqis are with the American and British occupation”. Jeffrey Gettleman of The New York Times supported this saying “several people who knew Mr. Zarqawi well, including former cellmates, voiced doubts about his ability to be an insurgent leader, or the leader of anything.”

In the July/August 2006 issue of The Atlantic, Mary Anne Weaver doubted that the figure who beheaded Nicholas Berg in the execution video was in fact al-Zarqawi.

In a story detailing her captivity in Iraq, Jill Carroll, a journalist for the Christian Science Monitor, casts doubt on al-Zarqawi’s alleged unimportance. She describes how one of her captors, who identified himself as Abdullah Rashid and leader of the Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq, conveyed to her that:

“The Americans were constantly saying that the mujahideen in Iraq were led by foreigners… So, the Iraqi insurgents went to Zarqawi and insisted that an Iraqi be put in charge. But as I saw in coming weeks, Zarqawi remained the insurgents’ hero, and the most influential member of their council, whatever Nour/Rashid’s position. And it seemed to me, based on snatches of conversations, that two cell leaders under him – Abu Rasha and Abu Ahmed [al-Kuwaiti] – might also be on the council. At various times, I heard my captors discussing changes in their plans because of directives from the council and Zarqawi.”

Pre-war assassination opportunities

According to NBC News, the Pentagon had pushed to “take out” Zarqawi’s operation at least three times prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but had been vetoed by the National Security Council. The NSC reportedly made its decision in an effort to convince other countries to join the U.S. in a coalition against Iraq. “People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president’s policy of pre-emption against terrorists,” said former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.

In May 2005, former CIA official Michael Scheuer, who headed the CIA’s bin Laden unit for six years before resigning in 2004, corroborated this. Paraphrasing his remarks, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation stated Scheuer claimed, “the United States deliberately turned down several opportunities to kill terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the lead-up to the Iraq war.” ABC added, “a plan to destroy Zarqawi’s training camp in Kurdistan was abandoned for diplomatic reasons.” Scheuer explained, “the reasons the intelligence service got for not shooting Zarqawi was simply that the President and the National Security Council decided it was more important not to give the Europeans the impression we were gunslingers” in an effort to win support for ousting Saddam Hussein.

This claim was also corroborated by CENTCOM’s Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Michael DeLong, in an interview with PBS on February 14, 2006. DeLong, however, claims that the reasons for abandoning the opportunity to take out Zarqawi’s camp was that the Pentagon feared that an attack would contaminate the area with chemical weapon materials:

“We almost took them out three months before the Iraq war started. We almost took that thing, but we were so concerned that the chemical cloud from there could devastate the region that we chose to take them by land rather than by smart weapons.”

 

In his 2010 memoir Decision Points, President Bush recounted:

“The question was whether to bomb the poisons lab in the summer of 2002. We held a series of NSC meetings on that topic… Colin [Powell] and Condi [Condoleezza Rice] felt a strike on the lab would create an international firestorm and disrupt our efforts to build a coalition to confront Saddam… I decided to continue on the diplomatic track.”

Reports of his death, detention and injuries

Missing leg

Claims of harm to Zarqawi changed over time. Early in 2002, there were unverified reports from Afghan Northern Alliance members that Zarqawi had been killed by a missile attack in Afghanistan. Many news sources repeated the claim. Later, Kurdish groups claimed that Zarqawi had not died in the missile strike, but had been severely injured, and went to Baghdad in 2002 to have his leg amputated.

On October 7, 2002, the day before Congress voted to give President George W. Bush authorization to invade Iraq, Bush gave a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, that repeated as fact the claim that he had sought medical treatment in Baghdad. This was one of several of President Bush’s examples of ways Saddam Hussein had aided, funded, and harbored al-Qaeda. Powell repeated this claim in his February 2003 speech to the UN, urging a resolution for war, and it soon became “common knowledge” that Zarqawi had a prosthetic leg.

In 2004, Newsweek reported that some “senior U.S. military officials in Baghdad” had come to believe that he still had his original legs. Knight Ridder later reported that the leg amputation was something “officials now acknowledge was incorrect”.

When the video of the Berg beheading was released in 2004, credence was given to the claim that Zarqawi was alive and active. The man identified as Zarqawi in the video did not appear to have a prosthetic leg. Videos of Zarqawi aired in 2006 that clearly showed him with both legs intact.

When Zarqawi’s body was autopsied, “X-rays also showed a fracture of his right lower leg.”

Claims of death

 

A U.S. PSYOP leaflet disseminated in Iraq shows al-Zarqawi caught in a rat trap. Text:

“This is your future, Zarqawi”

In March 2004, an insurgent group in Iraq issued a statement saying that Zarqawi had been killed in April 2003. The statement said that he was unable to escape the missile attack because of his prosthetic leg. His followers claimed he was killed in a U.S. bombing raid in the north of Iraq.

The claim that Zarqawi had been killed in northern Iraq “at the beginning of the war”, and that subsequent use of his name was a useful myth, was repeated in September 2005 by Sheikh Jawad Al-Khalessi, a Shiite imam.

On May 24, 2005, it was reported on an Islamic website that a deputy would take command of Al-Qaeda while Zarqawi recovered from injuries sustained in an attack. Later that week the Iraqi government confirmed that Zarqawi had been wounded by U.S. forces, although the battalion did not realize it at the time. The extent of his injuries is not known, although some radical Islamic websites called for prayers for his health.

There are reports that a local hospital treated a man, suspected to be Zarqawi, with severe injuries. He was also said to have subsequently left Iraq for a neighbouring country, accompanied by two physicians. However, later that week the radical Islamic website retracted its report about his injuries and claimed that he was in fine health and was running the jihad operation.

In a September 16, 2005, article published by Le Monde, Sheikh Jawad Al-Kalesi claimed that al-Zarqawi was killed in the Kurdish northern region of Iraq at the beginning of the U.S.-led war on the country as he was meeting with members of the Kurdish Ansar al-Islam group affiliated to al-Qaeda. Al-Kalesi also claimed

“His family in Jordan even held a ceremony after his death.” He also claimed, “Zarqawi has been used as a ploy by the United States, as an excuse to continue the occupation” and saying, “It was a pretext so they don’t leave Iraq.

On November 20, 2005, some news sources reported that Zarqawi may have been killed in a coalition assault on a house in Mosul; five of those in the house were killed in the assault while the other three died through using ‘suicide belts‘ of explosives. United States and British soldiers searched the remains, with U.S. forces using DNA samples to identify the dead

However, none of those remains belonged to him.

Reportedly captured and released

According to a CNN report dated December 15, 2005, al-Zarqawi was captured by Iraqi forces sometime during 2004 and later released because his captors did not realize who he was. This claim was made by a Saudi suicide bomber, Ahmed Abdullah al-Shaiyah, who survived a failed suicide attempt to blow up the Jordanian mission in Baghdad in December. “Do you know what has happened to Zarqawi and where he is?” an Iraqi investigator asked Mr. Shaiyah.

He answered, “I don’t know, but I heard from some of my mujahadeen brothers that Iraqi police had captured Zarqawi in Fallujah.”

Mr. Shaiyah says he then heard that the police let the terrorist go because they had failed to recognize him. U.S. officials called the report “plausible” but refused to con

Death

Remains of Zarqawi’s safe house, June 8, 2006

Zarqawi was killed in a targeted killing on June 7, 2006, while attending a meeting in an isolated safehouse approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) north of Baquba At 14:15 GMT, two United States Air Force F-16C jets  identified the house and the lead jet dropped two 500-pound (230 kg) guided bombs, a laser-guided GBU-12 and GPS-guided GBU-38 on the building located at

 WikiMiniAtlas

33°48′02.83″N 44°30′48.58″E / 33.8007861°N 44.5134944°E / 33.8007861; 44.5134944.

Five others were also reported kille

The joint task force (Task Force 145) had been tracking him for some time, and although there were some close calls, he had eluded them on many occasions. United States intelligence officials then received tips from Iraqi senior leaders from Zarqawi’s network that he and some of his associates were in the Baqubah area.

According to the book Task Force Black by Mark Urban, the intelligence was received from a senior AQI leader who the author Mark Bowden dubbed “Abu Haydr” who had been captured in Operation Larchwood 4.

The safehouse itself was watched for over six weeks before Zarqawi was observed entering the building by operators from Task Force 145. Jordanian intelligence reportedly helped to identify his location. The area was subsequently secured by Iraqi security forces, who were the first ground forces to arrive.

On June 8, 2006, coalition forces confirmed that Zarqawi’s body was identified by facial recognition, fingerprinting, known scars and tattoos.They also announced the death of one of his key lieutenants, spiritual adviser Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman.

Initially, the U.S. military reported that Zarqawi was killed directly in the attack. However, according to a statement made the following day by Major General William Caldwell of the U.S. Army, Zarqawi survived for a short time after the bombing and, after being placed on a stretcher, attempted to move and was restrained, after which he died from his injuries.

An Iraqi man, who claims to have arrived on the scene a few moments after the attack, said he saw U.S. troops beating up the badly wounded but still alive Zarqawi. In contradiction, Caldwell asserted that when U.S. troops found Zarqawi barely alive they tried to provide him with medical help, rejecting the allegations that he was beaten based on an autopsy performed. The account of the Iraqi witness has not been verified

All others in the house died immediately in the blasts. On June 12, 2006, it was reported that an autopsy performed by the U.S. military revealed that the cause of death to Zarqawi was a blast injury to the lungs but he took nearly an hour to die.

 

U.S. distributed photo of Zarqawi’s corpse

The U.S. government distributed an image of Zarqawi’s corpse as part of the press pack associated with the press conference. The release of the image has been criticised for being in questionable taste and for inadvertently creating an iconic image of Zarqawi that would be used to rally his supporters.

Reactions to dea

Prime Minister of Iraq Nuri al-Maliki commented on the death of Zarqawi by saying:

“Today, Zarqawi has been terminated. Every time a Zarqawi appears we will kill him. We will continue confronting whoever follows his path.”

United States President George W. Bush stated that through his every action Zarqawi sought to defeat America and its coalition partners by turning Iraq into a safe haven for al-Qaeda. Bush also stated, “Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man will never murder again.”

Zarqawi’s brother-in-law has since claimed that he was a martyr even though the family renounced Zarqawi and his actions in the aftermath of the Amman triple suicide bombing that killed at least 60 people.

The opinion of Iraqis on his death is mixed; some believe that it will promote peace between the warring factions, while others are convinced that his death will provoke his followers to a massive retaliation and cause more bombings and deaths in Iraq

Abu Abdulrahman al-Iraqi, the deputy of al-Zarqawi, released a statement to Islamist websites indicating that al-Qaeda in Iraq also confirmed Zarqawi’s death:

“We herald the martyrdom of our mujahed Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq … and we stress that this is an honor to our nation.”

In the statement, al-Iraqi vowed to continue the jihad in Ira

On June 16, 2006, Abu Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi, the head of the Mujahideen Shura Council, which groups five Iraqi insurgent organizations including al-Qaida in Iraq, released an audio tape statement in which he described the death of al-Zarqawi as a “great loss”. He continued by stating that al-Zarqawi “will remain a symbol for all the mujahideen, who will take strength from his steadfastness”.

Al-Baghdadi is believed to be a former officer in Saddam’s army, or its elite Republican Guard, who has worked closely with al-Zarqawi since the overthrow of Saddam’s regime in April 2003

Counterterrorism officials have said that al-Zarqawi had become a key part of al-Qaeda’s marketing campaign and that al-Zarqawi served as a “worldwide jihadist rallying point and a fundraising icon”. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, called al-Zarqawi

“The terrorist celeb, if you will, … It is like selling for any organization. They are selling the success of Zarqawi in eluding capture in Iraq.”

On June 23, 2006, Al-Jazeera aired a video in which Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, states that Zarqawi was “a soldier, a hero, an imam and the prince of martyrs, [and his death] has defined the struggle between the crusaders and Islam in Iraq”.

On June 30, 2006, Osama bin Laden released an audio recording in which he stated,

“Our Islamic nation was surprised to find its knight, the lion of jihad, the man of determination and will, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed in a shameful American raid. We pray to Allah to bless him and accept him among the martyrs as he had hoped for.”

Bin Laden also defended al-Zarqawi, saying he had

“clear instructions” to focus on U.S.-led forces in Iraq but also “for those who … stood to fight on the side of the crusaders against the Muslims, then he should kill them whoever they are, regardless of their sect or tribe.”

Shortly after, he released another audio tape in which he stated,

“Our brothers, the mujahedeen in the al-Qaeda organization, have chosen the dear brother Abu Hamza al-Muhajer as their leader to succeed the Amir Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. I advise him to focus his fighting on the Americans and everyone who supports them and allies himself with them in their war on the people of Islam and Iraq”.

Alleged betrayal by al-Qaeda

A day before Zarqawi was killed, a U.S. strategic analysis site suggested that Zarqawi could have lost the trust of al-Qaeda due to his emphatic anti-Shia stance and the massacres of civilians allegedly committed in his name. Reports in The New York Times on June 8 treated the betrayal by at least one fellow al-Qaeda member as fact, stating that an individual close to Zarqawi disclosed the identity and location of Sheik Abd al-Rahman to Jordanian and American intelligence. Non-stop surveillance of Abd al-Rahman quickly led to Zarqawi.

The Associated Press quotes an unnamed Jordanian official as saying that the effort to find Zarqawi was successful partly due to information that Jordan obtained one month beforehand from a captured Zarqawi al-Qaeda operative named Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouly.

Reward

In apparent contradiction to statements made earlier in the day by U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, an Iraqi spokesman said the US$25 million reward “will be honored”. Khalilzad, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, had stated the bounty would not be paid because the decisive information leading to Zarqawi’s whereabouts had been supplied by an al-Qaeda in Iraq operative whose own complicity in violent acts would disqualify him from receiving payment.

Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican of Illinois who drafted the legislation specifying the Zarqawi reward, was quoted as saying contemporaneously that the Bush Administration planned to pay “some rewards” for Zarqawi. “I don’t have the specifics,” he stated.

“The administration is now working out who will get it and how much. As their appropriator who funds them, I asked them to let me know if they need more money to run the rewards program now that they are paying this out.”

Post-Zarqawi Iraq environment

Zarqawi’s death was seen a major coup for the U.S. government in terms of the political and propaganda stakes. However, unconfirmed rumors in early April 2006 suggested that Zarqawi had been demoted from a strategic or coordinating function to overseer of paramilitary/terrorist activities of his group and that Abdullah bin Rashed al-Baghdadi of the Mujahideen Shura Council succeeded Zarqawi in the former function. On June 15, 2006, the United States military officially identified Abu Ayyub al-Masri as the successor to Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

After Zarqawi’s demise in early June 2006 there was little or no immediately identifiable change in terms of the level of violence and attacks against U.S. and allied troops. In the immediate aftermath insurgency attacks averaged 90 a day, apparently some of the highest on record.

Four months after Zarqawi’s death, it was estimated that 374 coalition soldiers and 10,355 Iraqis had been killed. Several insurgency groups and heads of Sunni Muslim tribes also formed a coalition called the Mujahideen Shura Council.

By late 2007, violent and indiscriminate attacks directed by AQI against Iraqi civilians had severely damaged their image and caused the loss of support among the population, isolating the group. In a major blow to AQI, thousands of former Sunni militants that previously fought along with the group started to actively fight AQI and also work with the American and Iraqi forces, starting with the creation of the Anbar Awakening Council because of its Anbar origins. The group spread to all Sunni cities and communities and some Shiite areas and adopted the broader name Sons of Iraq. The Sons of Iraq was instrumental in giving tips to coalition forces about weapons caches and militants resulting in the destruction of over 2,500 weapons caches and over 800 militants being killed or captured.

In addition, the 30,000 strong U.S. troop surge supplied military planners with more manpower for operations targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq, The Mujahadeen Shura Council, Ansar Al-Sunnah and other terrorist groups. The resulting events led to dozens of high-level AQI leaders being captured or killed. Al-Qaeda seemed to have lost its foothold in Iraq and appeared to be severely crippled due to its lack of vast weapons caches, leaders, safe havens, and Iraqis willing to support them. Accordingly, the bounty issued for Abu Ayyub-al-Masri AKA Abu Hamza al-Muhajer was eventually cut from $5 million down to a mere $100,000 in April 2008.

On January 8 and January 28, 2008, Iraqi and U.S. forces launched Operation Phantom Phoenix and the Ninawa campaign (AKA the Mosul Campaign) killing and capturing over 4,600 militants, and locating and destroying over 3,000 weapons caches, effectively leaving AQI with one last major insurgent stronghold – Diyala. On July 29, 2008, Iraqi, U.S. and Sons Of Iraq forces launched Operation Augurs of Prosperity in the Diyala province and surrounding areas to clear AQI out of its last stronghold.

Two operations had already been launched in Diyala with mixed results, and this campaign was expected to face fierce resistance. The resulting operation left over 500 weapons caches destroyed and five militants killed; 483 militants were captured due to the lack of resistance from the insurgent forces. Twenty four high level AQI terrorists were killed or captured in the campaign.[

 

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Islamic State Fools & Idiots Getting Killed – Boo Hoo!

Although there’s nothing funny about the madmen of Islamic State and their crimes against humanity , its nice to see these fools getting a taste of their own medicine from time to time. The sheer incompetence of these idiots defies belief  and the fact that they all think they are going to “paradise” and collecting 75 blue eyed virgins on the way speaks volumes for the twisted, deluded ideology they follow and  in my opinion each and every one of them is clinical insane!

Therefore I have put together this short collection of video’s of the DOGS  of Islam getting blown up, shooting themselves and well…being completely stupid and showing themselves for the amateur’s  they  really are. If they ever find themselves in a real battle with REAL warriors they wouldn’t last five minutes.

Nothing too gruesome  as to be honest I can’t stomach watching people die and sleep well in my bed at night, even if it is these bastards getting a one way ticket to hell!

Enjoy………

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Stupidity of the Islamic Front. Footage is all recent from southern

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İSİS terrorists destroying themselves

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What It’s Really Like to Fight for the Islamic State

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Islamic state Suicide Bomber hit by a MILAN Rocket

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Kurds destroy a suicide bomber’s truck filled with explosives coming at them

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Suicide bomber detonates himself in close combat

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ISIS idiots who shot himself

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ISIS militant gets owned by a French Bomber…

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See Fools Paradise

fools paradise resized biggggggggger

See ISIS Cowards – Crybabies & Wimps

See ISIS Getting a taste of their own medicine – compilation

ISIS Freak Show -The Bulldozer & Jihad ” Little ” John

The Bulldozer & Jihad ” Little John “

The Bulldozer

little john
Jihad ” Little John “

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ISIS executioner ‘The Bulldozer of Fallujah’ cuts hand and foot off teen boy

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HE weighs more than 200kg. Big belly. Big arms. Big reputation

 

Over his shoulder he carries a weapon so large it’s normally mounted to a vehicle before it can be fired. On his face he wears a mask to conceal his identity — but he is unmistakable.

People know him as “The Bulldozer of Fallujah” and he’s the world’s most feared terror group’s biggest weapon. Until this week, the unnamed member of Islamic State tried to blend into the background. His exploits are now front and centre after his treatment of a 14-year-old boy named Omar.

The new member of the terror group’s feared “chopping committee” is no jolly fat man.

The mammoth Iraqi – who was first photographed toting a 52kg anti-aircraft gun meant for TANKS – has appeared slicing up children in a sick new series of videos.

He can be seen jumping – raising his humungous bulk off the ground – to get his full weight behind his deadly sabre.

Images have emerged of The Bulldozer surrounded by headless corpses after a flurry of beheadings.

Omar was in Syria fighting with the Free Syrian Army when things went terribly wrong.He was running ammunition and food to fighters made up of defected Syrian Armed Forces officers and everyday civilians.

Islamic State moved in on Deir Ezzor province, according to Channel 4, and Omar was captured. He was transferred to the Iraqi city of Mosul and offered a chance at freedom. The cost? Joining the death cult. When Omar refused, they decided to teach him a lesson

On Omar’s phone are pictures of The Bulldozer. There are also pictures of his own cut-off hand and foot.

In an interview with Channel 4, the teen, whose name has been changed, told a story that haunts him and has left him so devastated he has “given up on life”.

“I was strung up and tortured for a month and a half,” the teen said. “They were saying ‘Why don’t you pledge allegiance to Islamic State? Why don’t you fight against the non-Muslims with us?’ But they are slaughtering Muslims.”

He said IS made a show out of torturing him. The show would turn bloody and change his life forever when The Bulldozer moved in.

“They gathered the people, they tied down my hand and my leg, they put my hand on a wooden block and cut it off with a butcher’s knife,” Omar told Channel 4.

bulldozer-islamic-arm cut off

“Then they cut off my foot and put them both in front of me for me to see.”

Months later, hobbling around his home with bandages covering the ends of his limbs, Omar says he has lost all hope.

“I have given up on life.”

The 20st BEAST is known as “The Bulldozer of Fallujah” – and he is fast gaining as fearsome a reputation as Jihadi John.

Like the infamous Brit, The Bulldozer beheads his quivering victims on camera in cold blood.

And like the barbaric “Beatle” – real name Mohammed Emwazi – The Bulldozer hides his identity behind a mask.

But whereas Emwazi used a knife to decapitate Isis’s hostages – the new Mr Big uses an almighty sword

The Bulldozer

See  Daily Star for full story

The good guys have their own big names, none bigger than the “Father of the Archangel of Death”.

See Angel of Death

The former Iraqi soldier’s real name is Abu Azrael. Dressed in black and armed with a machine gun, an axe and a sword, he presents an imposing figure. He even has his own Facebook page with more than 340,000 likes.

On the page, Azrael, also known as “Iraq’s Rambo”, is pictured smiling with other soldiers, lifting weights in a gym and shouldering a rocket launcher.

He is believed to have killed a number of Islamic State fighters in dozens of locations but also had experience fighting against US forces during the Iraq War.

It’s unlikely The Bulldozer and The Father of the Archangel of Death will ever meet, but it hasn’t stopped the internet from wishing they would.

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ISIS ” DWARF”  SOLDIER

Jihadi 'Little' John with his rocket launcher

DWARF SOLDIER: Move over Bulldozer, Jihadi ‘Little’ John is the next big ISIS terror

YOU’VE met the biggest extremist in Syria, now meet the smallest – the mini-militant dubbed Jihadi “Little” John.

Pics of the diddy diehard and his arsenal of terror, including AK47s and rocket launchers, have been doing the rounds on social media.

It comes after beheading victims in cold blood for the camera.

Jihadi 'Little' John and Vladimir Putin

Now news has emerged that terror warlords have another fearsome weapon amidst their ranks – a dwarf fighter.

The pint-sized extremist earned his nickname from Jihadi John, .

The wee warmonger has also been branded “Abu Ahmad Al-Chihuahua” by Beirut-based journalist Leith Abou Fadel, editor-in-chef of Al–Masdar news.

He speculated that Jihadi “Little” John was fighting with the al-Nusra front, al-Qaida’s pals in Syria – and warned “he bites”.

“I tried to find out more about him but the information was limited,” Abou Fadel said.

“All we know is that he is a member of the Syrian al-Qaida group Jabhat Al-Nusra.”

But some say he fights under an ISIS flag.

The three-foot fanatic is being lionised in the propaganda war against Russian hardman Vladimir Putin, who has been smashing Islamist targets in the country with a series of airstrikes.

Now the extremist could make short work of his Russian enemies

See Daily Star for full story

Despite  Social media  and certain Newspapers making light of this story it must always be remember that ISIS and other Islamic Extremist are no laughing matter and are a stain on humanity and need to be eradicated at all costs. The world has seen enough of their twisted ideology and would be a much richer place without them.

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The Bulldozer of Fallujah Captured

The Bulldozer of Fallujah’  captured.png

Update 1st June 2016

Karma is collecting its debts

If reports are true and this vile , evil human has been captured then this another in a long line of high profile setbacks for Islamic State and their deluded followers. The crimes of this monster are beyond evil and he is drenched in the blood of the innocent and NEEDS to pay for his crimes against humanity and membership of the merchants  of death and destruction which is the Islamic State.


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ISIS Giant Executioner (Bulldozer) Captured by Syrian Army

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This dramatic footage appears to show the 20-stone ISIS executioner dubbed The Bulldozer being captured by the Syrian army.

The obese extremist, a member of the terror group’s so-called Chopping Committee, is seen lying half-naked in the back of a truck with his hands tied behind his back.

Crowds gather round to take pictures of the hulking jihadi, who appears to be grimacing, before he is driven off by Syrian Armed Forces in the footage posted online by Syrian sources.

See Daily Mail for full story

ISIS Execute Eight Dutch militants

ISIS executed eight of their Dutch members in east of Raqqa

ISIS has executed eight Dutch members of its own jihadist fighting force in in Maadan, Raqqa province, in Syria, after accusing them of desertion and mutiny (stock image)

The so-called Islamic State has killed eight Dutch members whom it accused of trying to desert, activists have said.

As cracks start to show and more and more foreign fighters become disillusioned  ISIS has executed 424 of its own fighters in its 20 month reign in Syria

“Daesh [Isis] executed eight Dutch fighters on Friday in Maadan, Raqqa province, after accusing them of attempting desertion and mutiny,” said Abu Mohammad, a member of the citizen journalist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), via Twitter on Monday.

RBSS has been documenting the group’s abuses in its de facto capital in northern Syria since April 2014. The Twitter group said tension between 75 Dutch militants – some of them of Moroccan origin – and Isis intelligence operatives from Iraq hadreached a new height over the past month.

Three other Dutch militants were arrested by Iraqi Isis members who accused them of wanting to flee, and one of the detainees was beaten to death during the interrogation, according to RBSS.

Isis leaders in Raqqa sent a delegate to solve the dispute with the Dutch cell’s enraged members, but they murdered the intermediary in vengeance, the citizen journalist group added.

The Isis leadership in Iraq then ordered the arrest of all the members of the Dutch group and imprisoned them in Tabaqa and Maadan in Syria before killing eight of them, RBSS said.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, could not confirm the report. However it said three European militants of North African origin were killed in what Isis calls the Wilayet al-Furat – an area stretching across the Syrian-Iraqi frontier.

According to the Dutch secret services, 200 people from the Netherlands including 50 women have joined Isis in Syria and Iraq.

The Siddhartha Dhar Execution Video in full

In a new video purportedly released by the Islamic State, a British executioner calls Prime Minister David Cameron an “imbecile” before executing five men accused of spying against the Islamic State for the United Kingdom. The video was allegedly filmed in Raqqa, the “capital” of the terrorist Islamic State.

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The executioner is suspected to be London born Abu Rumaysah   also known as  Siddhartha Dhar according to reports. He has been called the New Jihad John in the British press.

The propaganda video is ten minutes long and includes the execution of five shackled men dressed in orange boilersuits who “confessed” to spying for Great Britain

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In another new video purportedly released by the Islamic State, men and soldiers are beheaded and executed en masse in “Wilayat Sinai” peninsula, Egypt. The video is titled “War of the Minds” and was released on January 4, 2015.

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 See Siddhartha Dhar

Islamic State’s – Medieval Brutality in the 21st Century

 

Islamic State’s  medieval Brutality in the 21st century

It’s only right that the country should debate the consequences of the decision to step up our role in the mess that is Syria/Iraq and the insane actions  of IS and other global Islamic extremists.

Regardless of where you stand on the issues in question ( and there are many , both political and ethical ) spare a thought for the UK pilots ( and all pilots & other  personnel)  whom are now pawns in this new kind of war and will be flying over enemy territory as they take the fight to IS and their deluded followers.

How can anyone forget the brutal execution of Jordanian   pilot Muath Al-Kasasbeh , burnt alive in a cage after a demonic stage show that saw him make his past masked IS fighters lining the route to the cage that would be his final destination and brutal execution.

Moath1

Anyone unfortunate enough to fall into the hands of IS should be in no doubt that they face a brutal and possible prolonged and excruciating death.

For IS are an enemy that love to shock and terrorise and they have no boundaries or humanity when dealing with captured enemies or those unfortunate enough to live under their savage rule.

For this is unlike any other war that has gone before and all normal rules of engagement are redundant against the mad men of IS and their twisted ideology.

Unfortunately the mercy of a bullet as a form of execution is seldom available to those facing  death at the hands of these Islamic demons.

Flight Lieutenant John Peters

 

Flight Lieutenant John Peters’

In previous wars prisoners had at least a chance of freedom and even Saddam Hussein exercised some caution when faced with international scrutiny and more or less treated his prisoners within the terms of the Geneva Conventions

His UK hostages and Pilots ( whom were abused)  were eventually released and returned the United Kingdom

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The Geneva Conventions

The Geneva Conventions are a series of treaties on the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war (POWs) and soldiers who are otherwise rendered hors de combat, or incapable of fighting.

See Below for a Summary of the  Basic rules of international humanitarian law in armed conflicts

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  The daily treatment and executions of innocent people in Raqqa and Mosul  are testament to ISIS,s total disregard for the sanctity of life and global opinion.

Their brutal beheadings and other forms of public executions have almost lost their power to shock and sadly these gruesome acts dominate News headlines and social media and the world has instant access to the almost daily sick propaganda of these murdering psychopathic madmen .

 Islamic State  practice medieval brutality in front of a shocked worldwide stage and all right minded people  have been shocked and outraged at the depths  of their inhuman cruelty

 Theirs is a war without rules or a political masters and the only outcome they expect is total victory or martyrdom. This is a new era in international terrorism and the world has to unite to destroy these mad men and their sick, twisted ideology.

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Below is a brief summary of some of the most barbaric and medieval  executions that Islamic State have carried out. I have not included video’s or beheadings as it is not my aim to promote the acts of these mad men and to be honest I can’t watch people being killed in the most brutal fashion and sleep peacefully in my bed.

The few executions I have watched have hunted my soul  and I can’t get the images out of my mind for days and weeks afterwards. Even compiling this list made me feel physically sick , but I wanted to catalogue some of the insane actions of these psychopath’s that are a stain on humanity.

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Death by  concrete blocks onto the head

ISIS carries out one of its worst executions yet, as murderers who bludgeoned women to death have their heads crushed with concrete blocks in horrific ‘eye for an eye’ punishment

is cconcret death

Shocking pictures show the militants hurling the concrete blocks onto the heads of the accused

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is cconcret death 2

The execution is known as a qisas punishment – ‘eye for an eye’ retribution
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  • Shocking pictures show militants hurling blocks onto the prisoners’ heads
  • The brutal punishment was carried out in Nineveh province in Iraq
  • The men had been arrested by Islamic police for killing three women

See Daily Mail for full story

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Death by being run over by a tank

The self-proclaimed Islamic State militants released new video footage on Saturday purportedly showing a Syrian army soldier in Homs being run over by a tank and executed.

See ABNA24 for full  story  ABN24

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Thrown off Tower Block for being Gay

A man has reportedly been blindfolded and thrown off a tower block in Syria for ‘being gay’ before being stoned to death after surviving the fall.

ISIS Throws Man Off Tower Block

Full Story Nigeriane News Watch

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Death by drowning  in a cage

TERROR group ISIS has released new footage that appears to show prisoners being lowered in a cage into a swimming pool and left to drown.

Full Story Before its News

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Death by Bombing

Ten prisoners made to kneel above bombs that have been buried in the ground

Full Story Daily Mail

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Death by bombs on the necks

IS killers strapped a string of bombs around the necks of a line of prisoners – then blew them up!

Full Story The Gateway

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Death by Crucifixion

Islamic extremists have publicly crucified two Syrian rebels in northeastern Syria in revenge for a grenade attack on members of their group.

Punishment: Two men in Raqqa, Syria, were crucified this April for allegedly killing an Isis fighter

Brutal: The images, which could not be independently verified, appear to demonstrate Isis's uncompromising brand of hardline Islamist justice

Full Story Daily Mail

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The Geneva Conventions

The Geneva Conventions are a series of treaties on the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war (POWs) and soldiers who are otherwise rendered hors de combat, or incapable of fighting.

 A Summary of the  Basic rules of international humanitarian law in armed conflicts

 

  1. Persons hors de combat and those who do not take a direct part in hostilities are entitled to respect for

their

lives and their moral and physical integrity. They shall in all circumstances be protected and treated

humanely

without any adverse distinction.

  1. It is forbidden to kill or injure an enemy who surrenders or who is hors de combat.
  2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for by the party to the conflict which has them in its

power.

Protection also covers medical personnel, establishments, transports and equipment. The emblem of the red

cross or the red crescent is the sign of such protection and must be respected.

  1. Captured combatants and civilians under the authority of an adverse party are entitled to respect for their

lives,dignity, personal rights and convictions. They shall be protected against all acts of violence and

reprisals. They shall have the right to correspond with their families and to receive relief.

  1. Everyone shall be entitled to benefit from fundamental judicial guarantees. No one shall be held

responsible for an act he has not committed. No one shall be subjected to physical or mental torture,

corporal punishment or cruel or degrading treatment.

  1. Parties to a conflict and members of their armed forces do not have an unlimited choice of methods and

means of warfare. It is prohibited to employ weapons or methods of warfare of a nature to cause

unnecessary losses or excessive suffering.

  1. Parties to a conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order

to

spare civilian population and property. Neither the civilian population as such nor civilian persons shall be

the

object of attack. Attacks shall be directed solely against military objectives.

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British ISIS woman Sally Jones threatens to blow herself up

Sally Jones, who left the UK to join the extremist group of ISIS, has threatened to blow herself up after her husband was killed in a drone strike in Syria’s Raqqa.

Jones, 47, is a former punk rocker, originally from Kent. She has converted to Islam and has been radicalized recently through direct contact with terrorist groups online.

Quoting a Muslim extremist woman who killed herself along with scores of Russian soldiers in a truck bombing in 2000, Jones has expressed herself on the social media that she could be about to become a “black widow” suicide bomber.

The term “Black Widows” refers to a group of Chechen Muslim women whose husbands were killed by the Russian forces in Chechnya.

She moved to Syria with her 10-year-old son in 2013 and joined ISIS after being brainwashed.

“I know what I’m doing. Paradise has a price and I hope this will be the price for Paradise,” Jones tweeted. If she carried out her threat, she would be ISIS’s first widely known female suicide bomber.

Her husband Junaid Hussain, 21, was a cyber-hacker and a key propagandist and recruiter for the ISIS terror group. He was killed in an airstrike in Raqqa, the major bastion of ISIS in Syria.

Jones has been following her husband’s path, recruiting young men and women to join ISIS’s ranks.

“I would never love anyone but him,” the extremist widow said on Tweeter, referring to her dead husband, though the group’s leadership prevents widows from staying a long time without husbands, according to ISIS-linked sources.

Jones’s message came after her husband found killed in an airstrike on Raqqa last August.

see Sally Anne Jones