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Al Qaeda Operative Possibly Nabbed in Iraq
Fox News ^ | Friday, January 23, 2004 | Bret Baier and Ian McCaleb

Posted on 01/23/2004 4:11:03 PM PST by woofie

Edited on 04/22/2004 12:38:28 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

WASHINGTON U.S. forces in Iraq believe they may be facing an Al Qaeda cell in Fallujah after a man with suspected ties to the terror network was captured last week, sources told Fox News Friday.

The man said to have been arrested was Husam al-Yemeni, said to be part of the leadership structure of Ansar al-Islam (search), the Al Qaeda-associated terrorist group based in Iraqi Kurdistan. Some U.S. officials described al-Yemeni as the first Al Qaeda operative captured in Iraq.


(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alharamain; alharamein; alqaeda; alqaedaandiraq; alqaedairaq; alquaeda; alyemeni; ansaralislam; ansaralislamtimeline; ansartimeline; captured; chronology; fallujah; fallujahcell; ghul; hasanghul; iraq; iraqalqaeda; powell; sunnitriangle; terrorcharities; terrorcharity; timeline; timelines; yemeni; zarqawi

1 posted on 01/23/2004 4:11:07 PM PST by woofie
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To: woofie
Saw a minute of breaking news on Brit Hume and as I understand it this news was validated
2 posted on 01/23/2004 4:13:02 PM PST by woofie
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To: woofie; Ragtime Cowgirl
I heard that too!

Cleanup time in the Sunni Triangle!

3 posted on 01/23/2004 4:16:20 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: woofie; Dog
Foxnews item now!
4 posted on 01/23/2004 4:20:56 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I just wtched my Tivo replay ...They said another guy was captured not Osama or his right hand man but the next one down ...I am still a bit confused as to who they got
5 posted on 01/23/2004 4:22:56 PM PST by woofie
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To: woofie
It was definately an Al Qaeda cell in Iraq
6 posted on 01/23/2004 4:24:54 PM PST by woofie
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To: woofie
"Al Qaeda cell in Fallujah" BUMP!
7 posted on 01/23/2004 4:24:55 PM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is Slavery)
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To: woofie
His name is Hasan Ghul....Pakistani.
8 posted on 01/23/2004 4:26:47 PM PST by Dog ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our Country")
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To: Dog
Thanks ..as I understand it he is a top operative
9 posted on 01/23/2004 4:28:06 PM PST by woofie
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To: woofie
I'm searching for info on him now.
10 posted on 01/23/2004 4:29:37 PM PST by Dog ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our Country")
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To: woofie
but, ... but, ... it can't be so!

The Dems and the media say there is no connection!</sarcasm
11 posted on 01/23/2004 4:33:57 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Dog
I cant find anything on him yet
12 posted on 01/23/2004 4:38:49 PM PST by woofie
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To: woofie
"One of his specialities at the camp was poisons," Powell said.

WMD??

13 posted on 01/23/2004 4:41:47 PM PST by Mo1 (Join the dollar a day crowd now!)
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To: woofie; Cindy
Ansar al Islam Links to Saddam regime : Bush administration and PUK officials have also speculated that Ansar may be working with Saddam through a man named Abu Wa'il, reportedly an al-Qaeda operative on Saddam's payroll. Kurdish explosives experts also claim that TNT seized from Ansar was produced by the Iraqi military, and that arms are sent to the group from areas controlled by Saddam. Iraqi officials deny all such ties, yet Saddam clearly profits from Ansar's activities, which keep Kurdish opposition forces tied up on the border and away from Saddam. Indeed, support for Ansar is not unlike the money Saddam gives to families of Palestinian suicide bombers; turning up the heat in Kurdistan and the Palestinian territories takes heat off Saddam as a crisis looms. Currently, Kurdish and international sources are accumulating evidence they say could soon present a clearer picture of Saddam's cooperation with al-Qaeda.- "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

Ansar al Islam Links to Iran : Iran supports Ansar by allowing it to operate along its borders. Iran may also provide logistical support by permitting the flow of goods and weapons and providing a safe area beyond the front. The Turkish daily Milliyet has noted that Ansar militants check cars leaving their stronghold en route to Iran, indicating coordination with the Islamic republic. Moreover, the recently apprehended Mullah Krekar spent many years in Iran and was arrested in Amsterdam after a flight from Tehran. Iran has several possible reasons for supporting Ansar. For one, having a democratic proto-state on its borders threatens the very nature of the Islamic republic. Thus, continued guerrilla activity benefits Tehran, as does any movement designed to spread Islamism in Kurdistan. Furthermore, by supporting Ansar and other Islamist groups in Iraq, Tehran may attempt to gain influence among the various factions that could contribute to a new Iraqi government if Saddam's regime is overthrown.- "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

14 posted on 01/23/2004 4:42:02 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: woofie
...They said another guy was captured not Osama or his right hand man but the next one down ...I am still a bit confused as to who they got.

Seems like we need a new Deck of Cards just for AQ! Except, we'll need a much more flexible ordering scheme: maybe multiple decks like Bridge or Blackjack; how about Tarot cards, or meta-cards which would represent AQ-cell leaders.

For Tarot cards, there could be lot of fun in inventing new and interesting cards: Obviously, the Card-of-Evil would have to be Osama. But how about the Card-of-Blindness for Omar, Card-of-Hypocrisy for Nancy Pelosi, or Card-of-Marin-County for Johnny Taliban, or...wait, those people aren't actually Al-Quida, right?

15 posted on 01/23/2004 4:49:23 PM PST by Mr_Slippery ("We can remember it for you wholesale" (Historical Revisionist Society))
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To: Mr_Slippery
It sure seems to me as if they are on to a major catch
16 posted on 01/23/2004 4:53:33 PM PST by woofie
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To: Alamo-Girl; Cindy
ANSAR AL-ISLAM TIMELINE (TWO GROUPS, JUND AL-ISLAM & ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN KURDISTAN (IMK) MAKE UP ANSAR AL-ISLAM)

1980s early : (MUJAHIDEEN KHALQ VS IRAN) Mujahideen Khalq launched a series of strikes against Iranian forces since the early 1980s, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini placed several of its members in jail. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

1983 : (SYRIAN-BACKED TERRORISTS SENT TO ATTACK US INTERESTS IN LEBANON) Back in 1983, Syrian military intelligence sent Islamic Lebanese terrorists to attack the American presence there, culminating in the massive suicide bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut. Syria continued to use terrorist proxies to further its policies. - "The Syrian-Iraqi Partnership," (opinion) Yedidya Atlas, Arutz Sheva, Israel National News,11 May 2003, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=2266

1980s late : (ZARQAWI FIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN AGAINST USSR) - "11 terror suspects charged in Jordan," By Jamal Halaby, Associated Press, via Boston Globe , 5/12/2003 , http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/132/nation/11_terror_suspects_charged_in_Jordan+.shtml

1980s : (AFGHANI FIGHTS USSR IN AFGHANISTAN) Ayub Afghani, who would one day be an al Qaeda-trained explosives specialist, fought in the 1980s in Afghanistan against the Soviet army. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

1990s : (KREKAR IS MEMBER OF IMK) A veteran of the Afghan war against the Soviet occupation, Mala Krekar was one of the military figures of the Islamic Movement in Kurdistan, IMK, during late 1990s. - "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

1991 : (NORWAY : KREKAR GRANTED REFUGEE STATUS) Mala Krekar was granted refugee status in Norway in 1991, which has recently (as of Sept 2002) been revoked by Norwegian authorities. His family still lives in Norway.- "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

1991 : (AFTER BEING DEFEATED IN KUWAIT, IRAQI REGIME LOSES CONTROL OF THREE PROVINCES) Baghdad lost control of the three Kurdish provinces of northern Iraq after the domestic uprising set off by Iraq's 1991 defeat in Kuwait. The region has been ruled since then by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), two anti-Saddam factions that adhere to a moderate interpretation of Islam. - "Chemical war threat by Iraq's 'Taliban' ," By Damien McElroy in Nicosia, UK Telegraph , Filed: 12/01/2003 (jan 12, 2003)

1990s late : (AL QAEDA REECRUITS IRAQI KURDS) The mountainous tracts near the border with Iran have traditionally held to a strict religious way of life, however, and Iraqi Kurds from these villages were recruited to al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. - "Chemical war threat by Iraq's 'Taliban' ," By Damien McElroy in Nicosia, UK Telegraph , Filed: 12/01/2003 (jan 12, 2003)

1998: (SAUDI ARABIA : DAHARAN BOMBING KILLS 19 US SOLDIERS : CIA HINTS AT SYRIAN "FINGERPRINTS" ON ATTACK) Even when the CIA reported that Syrian "fingerprints" were found in the terrorist bombing in Daharan, Saudi Arabia, in 1998, which caused the deaths of 19 American soldiers, no official American outcry was heard. - "The Syrian-Iraqi Partnership," (opinion) Yedidya Atlas, Arutz Sheva, Israel National News,11 May 2003, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=2266

1999 : (NORWAY : KREKAR GETS NORWEGIAN CITIZENSHIP) Bearded Krekar, 47, won asylum after the Gulf War and his wife and four children went on to gain Norwegian citizenship in 1999. - "Reviled by U.S., Islamist is hero for some in Oslo, by Alister Doyle, Reuters 07 Feb 2003

1999 : (IRAQI INTELLIGENCE OFFICER LATIF aka ABU WA'IL IS IN AFGHANISTAN) Sa'adoon Mohammed Abdul Latif, or Abu-Wa'il, an Iraqi intelligence officer, first visited Afghanistan in 1999. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

1999 late : (SUWEID LEAVES SYRIA FOR JORDAN : SUWEID CONTACTS MILITANTS IN SYRIA & IRAQ, SETS UP TERROR CELL IN JORDAN) Libyan Salem bin Suweid left Syria for Jordan late in 1999 under a fake Tunisian passport. His Jordanian assistant, Freihat, helped him rent a house in Russeifa -- a predominantly Palestinian town, 15 miles northeast of the Jordanian capital Amman, the prosecutor said. - "11 terror suspects charged in Jordan," By Jamal Halaby, Associated Press, via Boston Globe , 5/12/2003 , http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/132/nation/11_terror_suspects_charged_in_Jordan+.shtml

1999 - 2001 ? : (JORDAN : SUWEID RECRUITS FOR HIS JORDANIAN TERROR CELL, GETS FUNDS FROM ZARQAWI) For more than two years, Suweid allegedly contacted militants in Syria and Iraq, enlisted group members to his Jordanian terror cell, sent Yasser Freihat to Syria for weapons and bomb-making training courses and received funds from Ahmed al-Khalayleh aka Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi. - "11 terror suspects charged in Jordan," By Jamal Halaby, Associated Press, via Boston Globe , 5/12/2003 , http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/132/nation/11_terror_suspects_charged_in_Jordan+.shtml

2000 : (ZARQAWI RETURNS TO AFGHANISTAN TO OVERSEE TERRORIST TRAINING CAMP) Zarqawi, aka Khalayleh, who fought with Afghan guerrillas against Russian forces in the late 1980s, returned to Afghanistan in 2000 to oversee a terrorist training camp. Jordanian officials have said Khalayleh later took refuge with a militant Islamic group Ansar al-Islam in Iraq's northern Kurdish region. - "11 terror suspects charged in Jordan," By Jamal Halaby, Associated Press, via Boston Globe , 5/12/2003 , http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/132/nation/11_terror_suspects_charged_in_Jordan+.shtml

APRIL 2000 : (MUJAHIDEEN KHALQ VS IRAN) Mujahideen Khalq tried to assassinate the chief of Iran's paramilitary Nasr Command in April 2000 and has launched a series of strikes against Iranian forces since the early 1980s, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini placed several of its members in jail. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

AUGUST 2001 : (SOME IRAQI KURDISH LEADERS VISIT AL QAEDA LEADERSHIP IN AFGHANISTAN : ANSAR AL ISLAM WOULD BE THE RESULT) In August 2001, leaders of several Kurdish Islamist factions reportedly visited the al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan with the goal of creating an alternate base for the organization in northern Iraq. Their intentions were echoed in a document found in an al-Qaeda guest house in Afghanistan vowing to "expel those Jews and Christians from Kurdistan and join the way of Jihad, [and] rule every piece of land . . . with the Islamic Shari'a rule." Soon thereafter, Ansar al-Islam was created using $300,000 to $600,000 in al-Qaeda seed money, in addition to funds from Saudi Arabia. Today, Ansar operates in fortified mountain positions along the Iran-Iraq border known as "Little Tora Bora" (after the Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan). There, the group's Kurdish, Iraqi, Lebanese, Jordanian, Moroccan, Syrian, Palestinian, and Afghan members train in a wide array of guerrilla tactics. Approximately 30 al-Qaeda members reportedly joined Ansar upon the group's inception in 2001; that number is now as high as 120. Armed with heavy machine guns, mortars, and antiaircraft weaponry, the group fulfills al-Qaeda lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri's vision of a global jihad. Ansar's goal is to disrupt civil society and create a Taliban-like regime in northern Iraq. To that end, it has already banned music, alcohol, photographs, and advertising in its stronghold. Girls are prevented from studying; men must grow beards and pray five times daily. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

2001late : (IRAQI KURDS FORMERLY RECRUITED BY AL QAEDA TO TRAIN IN AFGHAN CAMPS RETURN HOME TO PUK TERRITORY IN NORTHERN IRAQ, WILL EVENTUALLY MERGE INTO ANSAR AL-ISLAM & SET UP ANTI-PUK ENCLAVES) On their return home to PUK territory, they merged a variety of radical organisations into the Ansar movement in 2001 and established their breakaway anti-PUK enclave. Following the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, scores of Arab al-Qaeda fighters have joined them after escaping through Iran - "Chemical war threat by Iraq's 'Taliban' ," By Damien McElroy in Nicosia, UK Telegraph , Filed: 12/01/2003 (jan 12, 2003)

SEPTEMBER 1, 2001 : (JUND AL ISLAM ESTABLISHED) Jund al-Islam, was established on 1 September 2001, controlled a strip on the Iranian border, comprising several villages and two townships, Biyara and Tawela. The group immediately declared “holy war” on Iraqi Kurdish secular ruling parties. - "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

SEPTEMBER 23, 2001 : (JUND AL ISLAM ATTACKS PUK FIGHTERS) On 23 September 2001, they attacked and slaughtered more than 40 fighters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK, which led to a wide range armed confrontation between the two sides. Jund al-Islam was reported, by PUK officials and London-based Arabic newspapers, to have Afghan Arabs in their ranks, as well as Kurds who served in Afghanistan and Chechnya. It was also reported that the group was financed by Al-Qaeda organization and its members were trained in Afghanistan. - "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

SEPTEMBER 2001 late : (FOUR JORDANIAN FIGHTERS FORMERLY IN AFGHANISTAN WERE KILLED IN IRAQI KURDISTAN : THEY BELONGED TO JUNG AL-ISLAM) The Saudi newspaper, Al-Watan reported on 23 November 2001, involvement of Jordanian nationals in the Islamic radical group. The newspaper said four Arab afghans of Jordanian origin were killed late September 2001 in Iraqi Kurdistan. They were members of Jund al-Islam group, or Soldiers of Islam, which became Ansar al-Islam later in December of the same year.- "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

SEPTEMBER 2001 : (ANSAR AL-ISLAM BECOMES ACTIVE AL QAEDA AFFILIATE) Ansar al-Islam, an al-Qaeda affiliate active in Iraqi Kurdistan since September 2001, is a prototype of America's enemies in the "war on terror." The group serves as a testament to the global spread of al-Qaeda affiliates, achieved through exploitation of weak central authorities and a utilitarian willingness to work with seemingly differing ideologies for a common cause. Lengthy reports on Ansar have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and Kurdish leaders have given Washington a plethora of intelligence on the group. Nevertheless, Ansar has yet to appear on official U.S. terrorism lists. Meanwhile, political complexities would make military action against the group difficult, at best. Hence, this small force of 650 fighters is a textbook example of the ongoing challenges posed by the war on terror. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

SEPTEMBER 2001 : (IRAQ : ANSAR KILLS 40 PUK FIGHTERS) Ansar first made headlines in September 2001 when it ambushed and killed forty-two Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) fighters. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

NOVEMBER 23, 2001 : (SAUDI PAPER REPORTS THAT JORDANIAN NATIONALS ARE INVOLVED IN KREKAR'S JUND AL ISLAM? GROUP) The Saudi newspaper, Al-Watan reported on 23 November 2001, involvement of Jordanian nationals in the Islamic radical group. The newspaper said four Arab afghans of Jordanian origin were killed late September 2001 in Iraqi Kurdistan. They were members of Jund al-Islam group, or Soldiers of Islam, which became Ansar al-Islam later in December of the same year.- "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

2001 fall : (ANSAR AL ISLAM PERSONNEL SMUGGLED VX NERVE GAS THROUGH TURKEY in 2001, WASHINGTON POST SAYS) Some Bush administration and PUK officials claim that Ansar has established chemical weapons facilities in Iraqi Kurdistan. Reports allege that Baghdad helped to smuggle these weapons from Afghanistan and that Ansar has tested substances such as cyanide gas and the poison Ricin. Salih has cited "clear evidence" that such tests have been performed on animals. The Washington Post reported that the group smuggled VX nerve gas through Turkey in fall 2001. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

DECEMBER 2001 : (JUND AL ISLAM MERGES INTO OR BECOMES ANSAR AL ISLAM) Jund al-Islam group, or Soldiers of Islam, became Ansar al-Islam in December - "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

2001 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL ISLAM ESTABLISHES ITSELF IN BORDER REGION NEAR IRAN) Ansar al Islam established itself late in 2001, as the war in Afghanistan was winding down, by uniting previously splintered Islamic parties. It occupied a border region in northeastern Iraq that has been out of Saddam Hussein's control since 1991. The group waged war against the northern zone's Kurdish government, destabilizing the region with assassination attempts, guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings. - "Terrorist manual may link Iraqi group to al Qaeda Information found at Ansar al-Islam training center in Kurdish enclave ," by C.J. Chivers, New York Times , via ©2003 San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, April 27, 2003

DECEMBER 2001 : (KREKAR LEAVES IMK & JOINS NEWLY ESTABLISHED JUND AL-ISLAM : THE TWO GROUPS WOULD FORM ANSAR AL ISLAM UNDER LEADERSHIP OF KREKAR) Following splits in the Islamic Movement in Kurdistan (IMK) movement last year [2001], Mala Krekar and his followers left IMK in December 2001 and joined the newly established Kurdish Islamic radical group, Jund al-Islam. The two groups formed Ansar al-Islam, with Mala Krekar as the group’s leader. - "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

FEBRUARY 2002 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL ISLAM ASSASSINATES HARIRI, A KURDISH CHRISTIAN, ATTEMPTED MURDER OF PUK LEADER SALIH) In February 2002, the group assassinated Franso Hariri, a Kurdish Christian politician. That spring, Ansar attempted to murder Barham Salih, a PUK leader; five bodyguards and two attackers were killed in the ensuing gunfight. Fazel Inzal al-Khalayleh (a.k.a. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi) had sought refuge with Ansar after escaping from Afghanistan. The al Qaeda operative Khalayleh/Zarqawi had ordered the spring 2002 attack on Salih - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

JUNE 2002 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL ISLAM BOMBS RESTAURANT) In June, the group bombed a Kurdish restaurant, injuring scores and killing a child. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

JUNE 2002 : (KURDS REPORT THAT IRAQI INTELLIGENCE FUNDS JUND AL ISLAM :CAPTURED IRAQI INTELLIGENCE OFFICER SAYS THE LEADING FIGURE OF JUND AL ISLAM WAS A SENIOR IRAQI INTELLIGENCE OFFICER BY THE NAME OF ABU WA'IL) Earlier this year, Kurdish media sources reported that Iraqi intelligence services are involved in guiding Jund al-Islam, through its agents, who operate secretly in the region. An Iraqi intelligence officer, who was arrested by PUK forces, and interviewed last June in a PUK prison in Suleimaniya, told “Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch” that a leading figure of Jund al-Islam was actually a senior Iraqi intelligent officer. He said, “following the fighting between the PUK and Jund al-Islam, the Mukhabarat [Iraqi intelligent Service] instructed me to search for someone. I don’t know his full name, but they said that he is called Abu Wa’il, an Iraqi national, and that he is a high-ranking officer, who belongs to our service; and that in addition to your usual mission, we want you to let us know what has happened to him, has he been able to escape, has he been killed, or has he been captured [by the Kurds] and handed over to the Americans? … Through my network I could discover that he escaped. I passed the information to the Mukhabarat. It seemed that the liaison network between Abu Wa’il and Baghdad was cut. Abu Wa’il’s case was dealt with by Mukhabarat at the highest level [in Baghdad]. His case was not like an ordinary agent getting missed … The general director of Mukhabarat was personally following the issue”. Another prisoner, a Kurdish member of Ansar al-Islam, arrested by PUK last spring, also signalled the presence of Abu Wa’il among the group. He told “Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch” that Abu Wa’il, “was a leading figure of Jund al-Islam, and was, among other missions, in charge of organizing the Afghan Arabs of the group who came from Afghanistan. As far as I know, Abu Wa’il, along with Abdullah al-Shaf’i [leader of Jund al-Islam before the merger with Mala Krekar’s group] travelled at least twice to Afghanistan”.- "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

2002 summer : (ZARQAWI WAS IN IRAQ)  A "top 20" al Qaeda planner was in Baghdad several months ago, giving further credence to the Bush administration's assertion of linkage between Saddam Hussein's regime and Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization. U.S. intelligence agencies have verified reports that Abu Musab Zarqawi met with people in Baghdad in the summer after fleeing Afghanistan when the US began strikes to dislodge the ruling Taliban and kill al Qaeda members. A U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said intelligence agencies are trying to learn more about Zarqawi's visit to Iraq and with whom he met. He is believed to still be in the Middle East, possibly in Syria. "We know he was in Iraq for a period of time several months ago," the official said. "Zarqawi plans terrorist operations. He is in al Qaeda's top 20." - "U.S. tracked top al Qaeda planner's visit to Baghdad," By Rowan Scarborough THE WASHINGTON TIMES October 4, 2002

JULY 2002 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL ISLAM KILL 9 PUK FIGHTERS, DESECRATE SUFI SHRINES) In July, the group killed nine PUK fighters, and destroyed several Sufi shrines -- a move reminiscent of the Taliban. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

2002 summer : (MUJAHIDEEN KHALQ) The Mujahideen Khalq group's Washington representatives provided the U.S. government .. with accurate information about the existence of a uranium-enrichment facility in Natanz that is monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

2002 late : (US BEGINS ENGAGING IRAN IN TALKS ABOUT IRAQ) Mr. Khalilzad has been the U.S. government's primary contact with the Iranian government... since Washington began engaging Tehran in talks about Iraq in late 2002.. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

SEPTEMBER 2002 : (IRAN EXPELS KREKAR) According to media reports, Mala Krekar was detained and expelled by Iranian authorities.- "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

SEPTEMBER 12, 2002 : (HOLLAND : DUTCH ARREST ANSAR AL ISLAM LEADER FARAJ AKA KREKAR) Mala Krekar, 47, whose real name is Najumuddin Faraj Ahmad, was arrested on Thursday, 12 September, at Amsterdam's Schiphol international airport while on a stopover on a journey from Teheran, to the Norwegian capital, Oslo. - "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002 * * In September, Dutch authorities arrested the group's leader, Najmuddin Faraj (a.k.a. Mullah Krekar), for suspected ties to al-Qaeda. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

SEPTEMBER 14, 2002 : (JORDAN REQUESTS EXTRADITION OF KREKAR) Jordan has requested from Dutch authorities the extradition of the head of Ansar al-Islam, an Iraqi Kurdish Islamic radical group, Mala Krekar, said Reuters on 14 September, quoting a Dutch Justice Ministry source. The Dutch Justice Ministry source did not say why Jordan seeks Mala Krekar’s extradition. - "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

SEPTEMBER 2002 : (ANSAR AL ISLAM) Ansar al-Islam is also believed to be behind the recent series of bomb attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan. The two major political parties, which rule over the Kurdish-controlled region of Iraq, the PUK and Kurdistan Democratic Party, KDP, have recently established a joint anti-terror operation command centre to combat terrorist attempts in Kurdistan region."Whoever is behind this group, it is widely believed here in Iraqi Kurdistan that the sudden emergence of this radical faction is meant to destabilize the Iraqi Kurdish experience of self-rule”, a Kurdish source told Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, on condition of anonymity. "It is more than four years now that the [Iraqi Kurdish-administered] region witnesses stability and a significant degree of economic development. So, one should look at the sides which have interest in destabilizing this situation. I don’t see why Al-Qaeda wants to undermine our region if it is not with the support of the enemies of Iraqi Kurds”, said the source.- "Ansar al-Islam’s leader arrested - Jordan asks his extradition," Iraqi Kurdistan Dispatch, news, 15 September 2002

2002 : (UK TELEGRAPH REPORTS THAT REPUBLICAN GUARD WAS SPOTTED IN ANSAR AL ISLAM TOWNS BY WESTERN INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS) The Telegraph reports that members of his Republican Guard had been seen in two Ansar-run villages by Western intelligence officials on a reconnaissance mission. - "Chemical war threat by Iraq's 'Taliban' ," By Damien McElroy in Nicosia, UK Telegraph , Filed: 12/01/2003 (jan 12, 2003)

OCTOBER 2002 : (JORDAN : MURDER OF US OFFICIAL FOLEY : LINKED TO AL QAEDA / ANSAR AL ISLAM) Fazel Inzal al-Khalayleh (a.k.a. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi) , who had sought refuge with Ansar in Iraq, . had ordered the October 2002 murder of U.S. Agency for International Development officer Laurence Foley in Amman. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

2002 : (JORDAN : ZARQAWI CONVICTED & SENTENCED) Ahmed al-Khalayleh aka Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi was convicted [in absentia] of a terror plot in Jordan and sentenced in 2002 to 15 years in prison - "11 terror suspects charged in Jordan," By Jamal Halaby, Associated Press, via Boston Globe , 5/12/2003 , http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/132/nation/11_terror_suspects_charged_in_Jordan+.shtml

DECEMBER 2002 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL ISLAM LAUNCH ATTACK ON PUK) In December, Ansar launched a surprise attack after the PUK sent 1,500 soldiers home to celebrate the end of Ramadan. According to the group's website, they killed 103 PUK fighters and wounded 117. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

2002 : (JORDAN : ZARQAWI SMUGGLED FROM SYRIA TO JORDAN TO MEET SUWEID AFTER ZARQAWI'S ABSENTIA CONVICTION IN JORDAN) Ahmed al-Khalayleh aka Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi was allegedly smuggled into Jordan from Syria later that year [2002] to meet Suweid, the Libyan, and make terror plans. - "11 terror suspects charged in Jordan," By Jamal Halaby, Associated Press, via Boston Globe , 5/12/2003 , http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/132/nation/11_terror_suspects_charged_in_Jordan+.shtml

DECEMBER 2002 : (JORDAN ANNOUNCES THAT AL QAEDA OPERATIVE AL-KHALAYLEH aka AL-ZARQAWI SOUGHT REFUGE WITH ANSAR AL ISLAM) Jordan's prime minister announced that al-Qaeda operative Fazel Inzal al-Khalayleh (a.k.a. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi) had sought refuge with Ansar. Khalayleh had ordered the spring 2002 attack on Salih as well as the October 2002 murder of U.S. Agency for International Development officer Laurence Foley in Amman. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

DECEMBER 2002 - JANUARY 2003 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL-ISLAM BOASTS OF HAVING CHEMICAL WEAPONS) The group has told recent visitors to its enclave that it holds stocks of the deadly chemical agents ricin, cyanide gas and aflatoxin. Some of its weapons are what the group calls "spoils of war" - stocks captured as it has expanded the territory under its control - while others, thought to include chemical agents, have been smuggled into the enclave from Iraq, almost certainly with Saddam's blessing. Its threat last week to use this arsenal against American-led invasion forces fighting the Saddam regime could seriously disrupt the Pentagon's plan for a battle front pushing south from the Turkish border - either by direct chemical attack on American troops or by diverting Kurdish fighters, hostile to the Iraqi dictator, into a backyard battle against an Islamic enemy. Kurdish officials say that Ansar is experimenting with chemical weapons on animals and humans. - "Chemical war threat by Iraq's 'Taliban' ," By Damien McElroy in Nicosia, UK Telegraph , Filed: 12/01/2003 (jan 12, 2003)

DECEMBER 24, 2002 : (DRISSI LEAVES ITALY, HEADED FOR SYRIA, EVENTUALLY TO IRAQ) According to investigators who spoke later, Drissi left Italy on Dec. 24 on a flight to Syria and eventually made his way to Iraq. - "Italian Police Arrest Terrorism Suspect," AP via The Guardian UK, , Tuesday May 6, 2003 2:49 AM , http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-2642697,00.html

JANUARY 2003 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL ISLAM GROWS IN SPITE OF ITS FOUNDER, KREKAR'S ARREST : RANKS SWELLING WITH AL QAEDA ARABS WHO FLED FROM US/UK-LED COALITION ATTACKS IN AFGHANISTAN) Ansar's founder, Mullah Fatih Kraker, was arrested in Holland last September, but the group has continued to grow rapidly and now has 2,000 fighters, compared with fewer than 600 six months ago - many of them Arabs who fled from Afghanistan. A sprawling wooden mosque complex dominates the centre of the town from where the mullahs of the radical Islamic group are spreading a reign of terror across the eastern part of the Kurdish territory. From Ansar's stronghold on the Sharazoor Plains, its fighters have moved across the Shineray mountains to capture dozens of villages, where they have imposed the strict rules of the Shariat. The strategic passes into the mountains, which are pockmarked with caves and ravines, command access to the Iran-Iraq border. Ansar territory is guarded by units equipped with mortars, heavy machine guns and rocket launchers. The area has been described as an Iraqi Tora Bora, the mountainous stronghold where al-Qaeda made its last stand in Afghanistan. The devastating effects of chemical weapons are well known in the area. At the foot of the mountains lies the city of Halabja which suffered an Iraqi chemical weapon attack in 1988. Residents are now afraid that a second batch of deadly poisons will descend from the mountains, this time from the radical Islamic group."Ansar has taken chemical weapons left over from the Iran-Iraq war," said Mohammad Aziz, a Kurdish official in Halabja. "We feel the pressure of waiting in fear that they will throw chemicals on us again and hell will return." - "Chemical war threat by Iraq's 'Taliban' ," By Damien McElroy in Nicosia, UK Telegraph , Filed: 12/01/2003 (jan 12, 2003)

JANUARY 2003 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL ISLAM / AL QAEDA OFFICIALS KILLED IN BATTLE WITH KURDISH FIGHTERS, INCLUDING DEPUTY OF ZARQAWI, ABU ABDULLAH aka NUR AD-DIN ASH SHAMI) Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi aka Fazel Inzal al-Khalayleh's deputy, Nur ad-Din ash-Shami (a.k.a. Abu Abdullah), was killed in a battle with Kurdish fighters. Currently, more than thirty Ansar militants (about twenty of whom are Arab) are incarcerated in Sulaymaniyah. Their testimony has provided clues about the group's ties to Saddam Husayn, al-Qaeda, Iran, and weapons of mass destruction. - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

JANUARY 12, 2003 : (IRAQ : ANSAR AL ISLAM SUPPORTED BY HUSSEIN) Saddam is believed to have been secretly supporting the Ansar enclave with money and military assistance because they share an enemy in the PUK. The [UK] Telegraph reported last year that members of his Republican Guard had been seen in two Ansar-run villages by Western intelligence officials on a reconnaissance mission. - "Chemical war threat by Iraq's 'Taliban' ," By Damien McElroy in Nicosia, UK Telegraph , Filed: 12/01/2003 (jan 12, 2003)

JANUARY 2003 mid month : (NETHERLANDS : KREKAR FREED FROM JAIL) Krekar was freed from jail in the Netherlands in mid-January after he had been detained for four months en route from Iraq to Norway. One day shortly after his return to Oslo, he said that he got 280 phone calls from well-wishers. - "Reviled by U.S., Islamist is hero for some in Oslo, by Alister Doyle, Reuters 07 Feb 2003

JANUARY 17, 2003 : (ANSAR AL ISLAM HAS YET TO BE NAMED A FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION) More than one year after Ansar announced its formation, the State Department has yet to designate it a Foreign Terrorist Organization, nor has the Treasury Department listed it as a Special Designated Global Terrorist. It would be interesting to know why. Other questions remain: Can Washington pressure Iran to cease cooperation with Ansar? Can it persuade Norway, where Mullah Krekar lived for several years, to examine his financial accounts? Can it verify ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam based on interviews with captured Ansar militants? If such links are established, military force should be considered. Reports from the front indicate that Ansar could not withstand an aerial assault. Yet, Washington may be reticent to attack during this period of UN inspections for fear of international rebuke, particularly from Turkey. Ankara, already ambivalent about an Iraq war, may be sensitive to any measures that would potentially strengthen the Kurds. Still, Ansar al-Islam poses a threat to any future U.S. ground deployment. Moreover, dismantling the group would potentially weaken both Saddam and al-Qaeda -- two primary targets in the war on terror - "Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection, " By Jonathan Schanzer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, via FrontPageMagazine.com , Friday, January 17, 2003

FEBRUARY 5, 2003 : (AT UN, POWELL CITES ANSAR AL ISLAM AS LINK BETWEEN HUSSEIN REGIME & AL QAEDA) Secretary of State Colin L. Powell cited Ansar al-Islam as a link between Saddam Hussein and bin Laden on Feb. 5 in a speech indicting Iraq before the U.N. Security Council. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

FEBRUARY 7, 2003 : (OSLO, NORWAY : KREKAR) Feb 7 (Reuters) - An Islamic militant suspected by Washington of ties to both Baghdad and al Qaeda is becoming a hero to some in the Norwegian capital Oslo where he lives with his family as a refugee. Reviled by the US but free because NATO-member Norway has been unable to find legal grounds to jail him, Mullah Krekar is sometimes cheered by well-wishers or stopped by autograph hunters in Oslo. His lawyer says he feels like the manager of a rock star. "I feel safe here in Norway," said Krekar, the founder of the Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam) rebel group which controls a sliver of land in north Iraq where it battles other Kurdish groups opposed to Baghdad. It has perhaps 700 fighters. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, laying out evidence against Baghdad to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, said Ansar harboured members of the al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, blamed for the September 11, 2001, attacks. Powell also said that Ansar included a senior Baghdad agent and that it may have tried to make chemical weapons.
"These are wrong things about me and chemical bombs, about link with Osama bin Laden, about link to (President) Saddam Hussein," Krekar said, walking home from police questioning. Two men of Moroccan origin stopped Krekar in the snow to shake his hand. "He's a good man. It's good that he lives here," said one taxi driver of Pakistani origin by Krekar's home in Groenland, an area of central Oslo where many immigrants live.
Officials concede that Krekar's freedom is a deep embarrassment to Norway's government. "Despite all the accusations, we haven't yet found any cause to detain him under asylum or other Norwegian laws," one said. "HURRAH, MULLAH" Reflecting unease, one Norwegian joke asks: "What do children chant as they march past King Harald's palace during the May 17 national day parade?" Every Norwegian knows the answer: "Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!" It then follows up: "What do people in Groenland chant?" The answer: "Mullah! Mullah! Mullah!" Krekar denies that Ansar tries to impose Taliban-style rule, even outlawing music or dancing. "It's not true," he said. Most of Krekar's supporters in Groenland are Muslims and oppose Washington. Krekar has been open with the media, even holding a news conference in a bar to reject Powell's charges. Krekar's lawyer, Brynjar Meling, argues that Norwegian anti-terrorism laws are meant to prevent extremists from setting up militias in Norway and so are irrelevant. "What happens in northern Iraq has very little to do with Oslo," he said. Another charge is that Krekar has violated the terms of his asylum by going to Iraq. Krekar says many Kurds do the same and that he only goes to areas out of Saddam's control. - "Reviled by U.S., Islamist is hero for some in Oslo, by Alister Doyle, Reuters 07 Feb 2003

MARCH 21, 2003 : (NORWAY : ANSAR AL ISLAM LEADER CHARGED) OSLO, March 21 (Reuters) - The Iraqi Kurdish leader of Ansar al-Islam, accused by Washington of having ties to al Qaeda, was charged with terrorist offences on Friday in Norway, his lawyer said. Mullah Krekar was detained late on Thursday on the grounds he might flee the country while under police investigation into his links to Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam), which Washington labels a terrorist group. "He has been charged with terrorism," his attorney Brynjar Meling told Reuters outside an Oslo courtroom where judges were considering whether there were sufficient grounds to keep him jailed. "He has also been charged under suspicion of money transfers to Ansar al-Islam," Meling said. Krekar has enjoyed refugee status in Norway since 1991 but the government has said recently it wants to expel him because of concerns about national security. It has yet to give details of what those concerns are.- "Norway charges Kurdish Islamist with terrorism ," Reuters, Friday, March 21, 2003

MARCH 22, 2003 : (OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM : US BOMBS AL ANSAR CAMP, LATIF aka WA'IL & AFGHANI ESCAPE TO IRAN) Both men (Sa'adoon Mohammed Abdul Latif, aka Abu-Wa'il & Ayub Afghani) escaped to Iran after U.S. planes bombed the Ansar al-Islam encampment in Biyara on March 22. While the Iranians allowed some of the Ansar fighters to return to Iraq after Kurdish peshmerga fighters overran the camp, senior leaders associated with the group remain in Iran, U.S. and Kurdish officials say. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

MARCH 2003 : (ITALY : CREMONA : IMAM ARRESTED AT MOSQUE THAT DRISSI WORKED AT) An imam at a mosque in the northern Italian town, was arrested. Another man allegedly associated with Ansar al Islam, Nourredine Drissi, also known as Abou Ali, works as a librarian at the same mosque. The imam was one of several people suspected of links to Islamic terrorist groups who were arrested in northern Italy in late March and early April. - "Italian Police Arrest Terrorism Suspect," AP via The Guardian UK, , Tuesday May 6, 2003 2:49 AM , http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-2642697,00.html

APRIL 2003 early : (ITALY ARRESTS SEVEN AL QAEDA OPERATIVES WHO WERE SENDING RECRUITS THROUGH SYRIA TO ALQAEDA/ANSAR AL ISLAM-BASES) Two weeks ago, Italian police arrested seven alleged al-Qaeda operatives. They were charged with sending about 40 extremists through Syria to terrorist bases operated jointly by al-Qaeda and Ansar al Islam, whose stronghold in north-eastern Iraq was recently overrun by Kurdish and US troops. - "Italian police uncover al-Qaeda link in Syria, " Australian News , April 17, 2003

APRIL 2003 : (ITALY : MILAN CELL ARRESTS) Several people suspected of links to Islamic terrorist groups who were arrested in northern Italy in late March and early April. A judge, in approving the warrants for the April arrests, wrote that there was evidence that the suspects were providing men for an Ansar al-Islam training camp in northern Iraq, while also helping militants passing through Italy to reach other European countries, such as Germany and Britain. - "Italian Police Arrest Terrorism Suspect," AP via The Guardian UK, , Tuesday May 6, 2003 2:49 AM , http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-2642697,00.html

APRIL 1 2003 : (MILAN CELL & ANSAR AL ISLAM : ARRESTED MEMBERS CIISE/MOHAMED & AYASHI/MERAI 'S CELLS BUGGED) Three weeks ago, Italian police arrested seven alleged members of an al-Qaida cell accused of recruiting fighters and sending them and funds to training camps in northeastern Iraq run by Ansar al Islam, a terrorist group recently routed by U.S. and Kurdish troops. After the arrests, detectives in an anti-terrorist police squad in Milan put two suspected leaders of the Italian network in a holding cell equipped with a listening device.
The following dialogue, according to wiretap transcripts in a court document, took place April 1 between Cabdullah Ciise, a.k.a. Mohamed, and Radi Ayashi, a.k.a. Merai. Ciise, a 28-year-old Somali, was arrested while visiting from London, where he allegedly helped finance a terrorist cell involved in a car bomb attack on Israeli tourists in Kenya in November.
Ayashi, 31, is an Egyptian based in Milan who allegedly helped send recruits to Iraq with the help of bosses in Syria.
The two men kept up their morale by insulting their captors and reciting extremist rhetoric. And although they are part of an allegedly sophisticated network spread across Europe and the Middle East, they talked frankly and apparently without thinking that their jail cell might be bugged.

Mohamed: What a situation!
Merai: God sees them. You be calm.
Mohamed: I'm calm, but inside me there is so much confusion.

________

Mohamed: I have doubts about the damned telephones. If it's like this it's a huge problem because the others who are waiting for me, Abderrazak, Abu Zaied, Abdelkarim, they are wanted by most of the secret services, especially Abu Zaied by the French.
Merai: I don't think so. Because I don't use the phone much, I'm always changing the [phone] card, and the calls we made together we made from outside.

________

Merai: Enemies of God, sons of dogs. Stupid questions. Have you been in Iran? What's the problem if I've been in Iran. Have you been in Syria? Stupid questions.
Mohamed: They told me I was Sudanese.
Merai: You tell them yes, no, maybe, I forgot, give them the runaround. These people here, servants of the Americans, they are slaves.
Mohamed: Yes, yes.
Merai: Now they've put Iraq in the middle, the American and Israeli dogs, God curse them and their allies, including the Italian government ....If they ask me if I fought in Afghanistan, I'll tell them yes. So what? Is there a problem? They are armed, and they are scared of us.

________

Merai: Surely they'll ask you about people who were in Afghanistan, they want the bosses. Curse them. They like life, I want to be a martyr, I live for jihad. In this life there is nothing, life is afterward, above all brother, the indescribable sensation of dying a martyr. God, help me to be your martyr.
(They recite verses of the Koran.)

________

Merai: Do you know the jihad hymn against the Americans?
Mohamed: Yes!
Merai: By Sheik Faisal. Come on, let's recite it together.
(They recite the hymn.)

________

Mohamed: But usually, when they make an arrest, do they put two guys together?
Merai: No!
Mohamed: And so why did they put us together?
Merai: They did a raid, and surely everything's full.
Mohamed: Strange.

- "In Italian jail, al-Qaida suspects curse U.S.," by Sebastian Rotella, Times Staff Writer, From the Los Angeles Times via http://www.sunspot.net/news/nationworld/iraq/bal-war-alqaidaside0428,0,2672304.story?coll=bal-home-headlines (Maryland online newspaper), Originally published April 28, 2003

APRIL 1, 2003? Monday : (ANSAR AL ISLAM WEB SITE) The militant movement Ansar al-Islam, which Washington links to Al Qaeda and has attacked repeatedly in Iraqi Kurdistan during the war, has redeployed and is preparing suicide attacks against coalition forces, a statement on an Islamist webpage said on Monday. The statement signed by “the Ansar al-Islam commmand” said that “after the air strikes on its bases in northern Iraq by the Crusader invaders, it has decided to move the bases of the mujahideen so as not to be a direct target of air attacks.... Our bases in northern Iraq were completely evacuated Thursday night and the mujahideen, with all their weapons, have redeployed to new positions better suited for the coming battles,” said the statement, which appeared at groups.yahoo.com/group/abubanan It said “Ansar al-Islam’s emir in Kurdistan,” Abu Abdullah al-Shafei, had in a message “to the Muslims of Kurdistan, Iraq and the world” threatened “martyrdom operations (suicide attacks) against the American and British Crusader forces.” It claimed that “more than 300 martyrdom fighters have renewed their devotion to God” ahead of suicide attacks. “We will make Iraq a cemetery for the Crusaders and their servile agents,” it said. Ansar al-Islam, or the Supporters of Islam, has come under frequent air attack since the US-led coalition launched the war March 20 to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. - "Ansar al-Islam prepares for suicide attacks, " AFP, Daily Times - Pakistan , Tuesday, April 01, 2003

APRIL 1 & 2, 2003 : (AFTER COALITION VICTORY OVER ANSAR AL ISLAM, INDICATIONS FOUND THAT ANSAR AL ISLAM HAD BECOME AN INTERNATIONALIZED TERRORIST GROUP) US special forces have won a decisive battle in the effort to secure northern Iraq by overcoming the fundamentalist Ansar al-Islam group which has been linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network. The special forces worked with Kurdish peshmerga fighters to put down the group in the region. The announcement last night came ahead of a meeting today in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, at which the United States and representatives of the major Kurdish parties were expected to discuss possible future co-operation in the campaign against Saddam Hussein.
In a highly unusual public appearance, one special forces officer said: "It was pretty damn successful. In a period of one-and-a-half days, a terrorist organisation that has had a grip on this region was rooted out and neutralised. ... There was a lot of fighting, the Ansar al-Islam and al-Qaeda were not a pushover."
Material uncovered at the site of the battle pointed towards the possibility that Ansar had been involved in chemical or biological weapons activity, said the special forces. Soil samples and materials were being studied by US authorities. Peshmergas reported finding foreign passports and contact details in the US and Europe, which they said indicated that Ansar was an international terror group. - "US defeats terrorists in north," by JEANETTE OLDHAM, The Scotsman , April 2, 2003

APRIL 2003 early : (IRAQ : AL-QAEDA STYLE MANUALS FOUND IN ANSAR AL ISLAM BOMB LAB) Darga Sharkhan, Iraq -- The 2-inch-thick manual on killing, discovered in an abandoned bomb laboratory here early this month, offers instruction in al Qaeda's array of lethal demolition skills. With a text in Arabic complemented by diagrams taken from U.S. military manuals, the document offers lessons for rigging explosives, setting and concealing booby traps, and wiring an alarm clock to detonate a bomb. The book is a photocopy of one volume of the Jihad Encyclopedia, the technical manual that U.S. officials have said is used by al Qaeda in its war against the West. Other copies were found in terrorist training camps and guest houses in Afghanistan after the defeat of the Taliban in 2001. This copy, though, was found in the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq. It was recovered by Kurdish security officials in a training center operated by Ansar al-Islam, a local armed party. - "Terrorist manual may link Iraqi group to al Qaeda Information found at Ansar al-Islam training center in Kurdish enclave ," by C.J. Chivers, New York Times , via ©2003 San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, April 27, 2003

APRIL 2, 2003 : (FBI ALERT ABOUT WMD LABS) On April 2, the FBI urged US law enforcement agencies to watch out for clandestine laboratories capable of concocting chemical and biological agents, including highly infectious bacteria and toxins like ricin, using commonly available materials. The agency warned in its weekly bulletin, which goes to 18,000 law enforcement agencies around the US, that the March 1 capture in Pakistan of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, Al-Qaeda’s operations chief, had provided fresh evidence that Osama bin Laden’s network was still experimenting with chemical and biological weapons. - "The biowar threat: Jordanian ‘mastermind’ sought," by Ed Blanche, The Daily Star , April 29 2003

APRIL 3, 2003 : (ITALY : MILAN CELL : AL QAEDA & ANSAR AL ISLAM) Italy says it is holding six men, including an imam, suspected of links to al Qaeda.In Italy, an Egyptian, a Somali and two Iraqi Kurds suspected of links with the Ansar-al-Islam militant group in Iraq were detained in Milan and Parma. Later police arrested a Tunisian imam of a mosque and another North African, who, they said, were linked to al Qaeda. A newspaper report said the men were preparing to leave for Iraq. - "Britain jails pair for plotting to help bin Laden's network," 03.04.2003, INDEPENDENT, UK AGENCIES via http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3350481&thesection=news&thesubsection=world

APRIL 2003 : (ANSAR AL ISLAM : RICIN : ZARQAWI) U.S. and Kurdish officials say the group [Ansar al Islam] received support from al Qaeda and coordinated activities through Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian identified by the US as a lieutenant of Osama bin Laden. They also said the group ran a factory that made the poison ricin and a topical cyanide poison and maintained ties with Hussein. U.S. officials say an intelligence team has collected cyanide-based compounds from a former Ansar base and is awaiting test results to see if the group managed to concoct a larger selection of poisons. The evidence collected at Ansar's bases also suggests collaboration with al Qaeda. Some of the papers were gathered by journalists, and others were provided by Kurdish intelligence officials before being translated by a private language institute in northern Iraq. Textbooks and bomb or poison recipes in Ansar custody were identical to those contained in al Qaeda's records from Afghanistan, including the bomb manual for the Jihad Encyclopedia and computer files on Western intelligence collection and ways to evade it. Other documents were strikingly similar in tone or content to al Qaeda papers found in Afghanistan, like military training materials. The curriculum is the product of a detailed collection and translation effort. A special forces officer flipped through the Ansar explosives manual found here, noting, as other U.S. officers have, that it included page after page of instructional diagrams from U.S. Army publications. He recognized almost every one. "This one is from our improvised munitions manual," he said. "That's from the booby trap manual. This is almost photocopied from our books." A few documents also promoted social practices reminiscent of those imposed by the Taliban, including a memo forbidding the passage of vehicles carrying television sets because they might import immorality to the Ansar villages. - "Terrorist manual may link Iraqi group to al Qaeda Information found at Ansar al-Islam training center in Kurdish enclave ," by C.J. Chivers, New York Times , via ©2003 San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, April 27, 2003

APRIL 5, 2003 : (IRAQ : US MARINES SEIZE TRAINING COMPLEX & BIOWARFARE CENTER AT SALMAN PAK) Still, as coalition forces in Iraq searched high and low for concrete evidence of Iraq’s clandestine weapons programs, US Marines seized a high-security complex at Salman Pak, southeast of Baghdad, on April 5. It had been used as a training base for Iraqi Special Forces, as well as the Fedayeen Saddam, diehard followers of Saddam Hussein who fought coalition forces tenaciously, and non-Iraqi terrorist groups. According to US officials, it also housed a biological warfare center where dozens of scientists and technicians had worked on ways to deliver ricin, anthrax and other deadly substances. No bioweapons were actually found, however.
Ricin is produced from castor beans and, experts say, is relatively easy to make and stockpile. It has no known antidote. White supremacist groups in the US are believed to maintain stocks. It has been used sparingly so far, primarily to assassinate individuals, such as Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov who was fatally stabbed with a poison-tipped umbrella at a London bus stop in 1978 by the [communist] Bulgarian secret service. To use it as a weapon of mass destruction would require hundreds of liters that could be spread by aerosols. - "The biowar threat: Jordanian ‘mastermind’ sought," by Ed Blanche, The Daily Star , April 29 2003

APRIL 8, 2003 : (IRAQ : US SPECIAL FORCES PURSUE ANSAR AL-ANSAR) US forces have all but wiped out an alleged al-Qaeda linked group in northern Iraq with help from their Kurdish allies - and Iranians who have sealed off the Islamist militants' only exit. US special forces set out today from Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan with Kurdish fighters to track down militants of the Ansar al-Islam group who might have survived the bombing and the onslaught on their stronghold. The US forces kept mum on the location of their hunting ground, but a Kurdish official said it was a mountainous region on the border with Iran because "they have nowhere else to go" after the Islamic Republic "closed its border". All the villages along the wide road leading to the Iranian pass had been "cleaned up," he said. US missiles demolished houses previously used by Ansar al-Islam ("Supporters of Islam"), to keep Kurdish forces at bay. Caves that could be used as hideouts were inspected and emptied, and Ansar's headquarters were painted with the colours of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the group that administers part of northern Iraq captured from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's army after the 1991 Gulf War. Kurdish estimates of Ansar's losses from the US-Kurdish onslaught range between 150 and 300 dead. "Two were killed yesterday. They faked wanting to surrender and killed one of ours," said a Kurdish official in Chamchamal. Dozens of Ansar militants have also been reported captured, including 35 yesterday alone. But the figures cannot be verified, just like the figure on Ansar's pre-war strength, put by some at 300 men and by others at 1000. Among those said to be at large are the two leaders of the group, Abdullah Aishafey and Tahseen Ali Abdulaziz, hiding with followers in the mountains. "Our task is to find them, force them to surrender or take them out," said a Kurdish chief guiding the US forces' hunt. The Iranian border makes their mission easier and more complicated at the same time. Complicated because the hunters have to avoid contact with Iranian forces, and easier because, by all Kurdish accounts, Iran has closed its border for the fugitives, and by some, opened fire on Ansar militants using the smugglers' tracks to flee. The PUK in the past accused the Iranians of backing Ansar. But Tehran has always denied that and has stated its neutrality in the US-led war on Iraq. It has also denied hosting al-Qaeda fugitives after the US campaign in Afghanistan. A member of the Kurdish leadership in Halabja, "Mam" Osta Aziz, did not however rule out that "some" Ansar members could have escaped to Iran without the authorities knowing about it. - "Troops hunt down fleeing militants (US all but wiped out al-Qaeda in northern Iraq) ," Agence France-Presse , April 8, 2003 , Laurent Lozano

APRIL 2003 : (US SPECIAL ENVOY PERSUADES IRANIAN BACKED GROUP TO ATTEND "TOWN HALL MEETING" IN IRAQ) President Bush's special envoy to the Iraqi opposition, Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad, helps persuade members of the Iran-supported Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq to attend the second U.S.-sponsored town-hall-type meeting of Iraqis in Baghdad. - "U.S. negotiates trade of terror suspects," By Eli J. Lake, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL via The Washington Times, May 9, 2003, http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030509-22822443.htm

APRIL 11, 2003 : (ITALY) Italian police have arrested a Moroccan accused of links to a top al-Qaeda operative seized in Pakistan by the FBI last year, prosecutors in Milan said late today. Milan magistrate Guido Salvini said Mohamed Daki, 38, with an address in the northern city of Reggio Emilia, was arrested on Sunday. According to the charge sheet, Daki had contacts with Ramzi Binalshibh, an alleged lieutenant of Osama bin Laden credited with planning the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Binalshibh was arrested in Pakistan on the anniversary of the attacks and brought to the United States to stand trial. Prosecutors said Daki had been living in Reggio Emilia since arriving from Hamburg, Germany, in January. He is accused of organising a "cell" comprising six other men, who were arrested on April 1, and accused of "plotting with the aim of carrying out acts of violence linked to international terrorism, including in states other than Italy". The Milan court handling the case said last week the men "are linked to a terrorist organisation whose leader, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, is an important member of the al-Qaeda organisation". The men have been accused of links to the Ansar al-Islam, a group based in northern Iraq which Washington alleges has connections with al-Qaeda, the organisation blamed for September 11. They have been in detention since the beginning of the month and have been formally accused on similar charges to Daki. The Milan court handling the case said the men "are linked to a terrorist organisation, whose leader Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is an important member of the al-Qaeda organisation". They have also been accused of organising the recruitment of "fighters" for Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam), possibly for combating the invading US and British forces in Iraq. The arrest mandate said the men organised the travel of the recruits to Iraq via Syria, and also assisted by collecting money and arranging false identity papers for the volunteer fighters - "Al-Qaeda suspect arrested in Italy," The Daily Telegraph , April 11 2003

APRIL 11, 2003 : (US ARMY REPORTEDLY IS ABLE TO REPRODUCE WEAPONIZED ANTHRAX LIKE THAT USED IN POSTAL ATTACKS & CONCLUDED THAT IT TOOK FEW RESOURCES TO ACCOMPLISH THE TASK) Concern was underlined on April 11 when the US Army’s biodefense center at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah was reported to have reproduced the anthrax powder used in deadly postal attacks in America September-October 2001 and concluded that it was made with inexpensive equipment no more than a few thousand dollars and limited expertise. These findings reinforced a theory among FBI investigators that the anthrax had probably been made by renegade scientists and not under a military program such as Iraq conducted. - "The biowar threat: Jordanian ‘mastermind’ sought," by Ed Blanche, The Daily Star , April 29 2003

APRIL 13, 2003 : (ABDERRAZZAK & SYRIA) Mullah Abderrazzak wanted the terrorists to leave Europe and join the jihad against U.S. and British troops in Iraq, an Italian antiterror investigator tells TIME, and coordinated the movements of an alleged Milan-based terrorist cell. "He's directing everything from Syria," the investigator says. Abderrazzak's location doesn't prove the Syrian government is knowingly harboring him, but the investigator argues that "activity like this can't happen without [Syria's] security service knowing." Five members of the Milan cell Abderrazzak allegedly ran have been arrested in the past two weeks, charged with recruiting for Ansar, which is based in northern Iraq and has suspected ties to al-Qaeda. The fifth arrest was announced last week after police captured Mohamed Daki, a 38-year-old Moroccan, in the northern town of Reggio Emilia, and charged him with being part of a terror operation. Daki, who had been based in Hamburg until January, is also said to have lived for a year with Ramzi Binalshibh, the al-Qaeda ringleader nabbed last year in Pakistan. Investigators say Daki also had encounters with Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian who led the Sept. 11 attacks. - "DIALING DAMASCUS: Is Syria harboring Ansar al-Islam?," TIME Europe , April 13, 2003

APRIL 16, 2003 : (ANSAR AL ISLAM'S SYRIAN CONNECTION) MILAN, Italy (AP) -- Italian anti-terrorism investigators say they found a Syrian connection with an Iraqi-based Islamic extremist group suspected of shuttling recruits and money between Europe and the Middle East. The investigation, which led to the arrests of six people in northern Italy two weeks ago, comes as scrutiny of Syria's alleged ties to terrorism has increased. The probe is headed by prosecutor Stefano Dambruoso, who has won key convictions against al-Qaida suspects arrested in Italy. Dambruoso has said investigations in Italy and elsewhere in Europe had effectively smashed the structure of al-Qaida on this continent, but more loosely connected organizations have attracted recruits from among a large pool of Muslims living on the fringes of society in Europe. The six men arrested in Italy's latest sweep -- an Egyptian, a Somali, two Tunisians and two Iraqi Kurds -- are suspected of links to the extremist Islamic group Ansar al-Islam, which was based in northern Iraq before the war. U.S. officials believe Ansar al-Islam is linked to al-Qaida, and American special forces, together with Kurdish fighters, destroyed one of the group's bases early in the Iraq war. The six men arrested in raids in Milan, Parma and Cremona were charged with membership in an international terrorist group, forging documents and aiding illegal immigration. Italian investigators, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had no indication the group was planning an attack in Italy. They were instead suspected of helping militants pass into European countries such as Britain and Germany or to reach northern Iraq. The spotlight has been on Syria since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in neighboring Iraq. The Bush administration has accused Syria of harboring remnants of Saddam's regime, supporting terrorism and possessing chemical weapons. The Syrian government denies the allegations, and it is known to have cooperated with the U.S. crackdown on al-Qaida since the Sept. 11 attacks. - "Italian investigators say they found Syrian connection in Iraq-based terror group," AP via NOLA.com , 4/16/03 11:53 AM , VICTOR L. SIMPSON

APRIL 17, 2003 : (SYRIA & ANSAR AL ISLAM) Syria has functioned as a hub for al-Qaeda operatives who moved Islamic extremists and money from Italy to north-eastern Iraq, where the recruits fought alongside the recently defeated Ansar al Islam terrorist group, according to an Italian investigation. The investigation, which began last year, could intensify the growing debate about Syria's alleged ties to terrorism. - "Italian police uncover al-Qaeda link in Syria, " Australian News , April 17, 2003

APRIL 2003 : (ARAB COUNTRY & OTHER MIDDLE EASTERNERS REPORTEDLY SHOPPED FOR BIOWEAPONS IN SOUTH AFRICA, ACCORDING TO WASH POST & S. AFRICAN SCIENTIST GOOSEN) And just to emphasize the growing market for these nightmarish weapons, The Washington Post reported earlier this month that biological weapons material developed by South Africa during the apartheid era remained in private hands and was attracting foreigners seeking to acquire it. It said that Daan Goosen, a South African scientist who ran a biological weapons laboratory under Project Coast, a secret biological and chemical warfare project under the white minority government [reportedly] admitted trying to peddle his ghoulish products ­ cigarettes laced with anthrax, chocolates impregnated with toxins such as botulism and salmonella, clothes dusted with poisons that could be absorbed through the skin ­ to the US for $5 million. Goosen denied the report, but said prospective buyers from other countries, including at least one unidentified Arab country, had sought to buy bacteria and organisms like anthrax in South Africa. - "The biowar threat: Jordanian ‘mastermind’ sought," by Ed Blanche, The Daily Star , April 29 2003

APRIL 2003 late : (IRAQ : EVIDENCE GATHERED FROM ANSAR AL ISLAM BASES) ...Interviews with prisoners and translations of internal documents and computer disks show that Ansar possessed manuals from al Qaeda in printed and digital form, ran two training bases with curriculums strikingly similar to those taught in Afghan camps, and managed its affairs much as al Qaeda did. The group also had poison recipes much like those found in al Qaeda buildings in Afghanistan after the Taliban fell. Moreover, al Qaeda seeded Ansar with experienced fighters who helped organize the group's training, administration and ambitions, U.S. and Kurdish officials say.
A special forces officer described the books, posters and lesson plans recovered by Kurds and U.S. intelligence teams as "Qaeda mobile curriculum." Identification cards showed that some of the fighters came from other countries, and U.S. officials expressed concern that they formed part of a core group of militants who could turn up elsewhere in years to come.
Ansar's bases operated like a small al Qaeda campus moved to another restless corner of the Earth, the documents and interviews indicate. "They had al Qaeda instructors with them, they had an al Qaeda cadre," said a special forces officer who helped coordinate the battle against Ansar and who has reviewed the intelligence collected about the group. "One of the problems with al Qaeda is that it is not a clearly identifiable organization. They don't wear an al Qaeda uniform or carry an al Qaeda passport, but they launch out these professionals who train and start groups." - "Terrorist manual may link Iraqi group to al Qaeda Information found at Ansar al-Islam training center in Kurdish enclave ," by C.J. Chivers, New York Times , via ©2003 San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, April 27, 2003

APRIL 2003 late? : (ZARQAWI LINKED TO RICIN PLOT TO POISON FOOD OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AT BASES THROUGHOUT EUROPE) Zarqawi, 36, is considered something of an expert on chemical and biological weapons, including ricin, following training he is purported to have undergone in Afghanistan under the aegis of Al-Qaeda in the 1990s. He has also been linked to an abortive plot to use ricin to poison food at a British military base and other allied military facilities across Europe. - "The biowar threat: Jordanian ‘mastermind’ sought," by Ed Blanche, The Daily Star , April 29 2003

APRIL 2003 late : (US FORCES SAY BIOWARFARE DOCS WERE FOUND IN CAMP ABANDONED BY ANSAR AL ISLAM WHICH WERE SIMILAR TO THOSE FOUND IN AFGHANISTAN IN 2001) US Special Forces in Iraq said last week they had found biowar manuals similar to documentation found at Al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan in 2001, at a mountain camp abandoned by Ansar al-Islam, a fundamentalist group that was based in northwestern Iraq near the Iranian border and attacked by the Americans. They also reported finding a laboratory where ricin and cyanide were made. The Americans have linked Ansar to Al-Qaeda and Zarqawi. Although proof of his presence was not found, wiretaps and telephone records from suspected terrorists seized in Italy show five people believed to be Zarqawi’s associates in northern Iraq were in contact by satellite telephone with associates in Europe. - "The biowar threat: Jordanian ‘mastermind’ sought," by Ed Blanche, The Daily Star , April 29 2003

APRIL 2003 : (AL TAWHID GROUP'S ZARQAWI IS STILL HUNTED) These developments have intensified the hunt for one of the key figures behind this threat, a one-legged Jordanian known as Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, whose real name is believed to be Ahmed Fadil Nazal al-Khalayleh. He heads a small organization called Al-Tawhid which appears to have cells operating across Western Europe and in parts of the Middle East, including Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. - "The biowar threat: Jordanian ‘mastermind’ sought," by Ed Blanche, The Daily Star , April 29 2003

MAY 5, 2003 Monday early : (DRISSI ARRIVES IN MILAN, ITALY FROM IRAN) The suspect arrived at the Milan airport from Tehran early Monday with his wife and three children, police said. He headed to Milan's central station to catch a train to Cremona, where a month earlier another Tunisian, an imam at a mosque in the northern Italian town, was arrested. Nourredine Drissi, also known as Abou Ali, had worked as a librarian at the mosque, according to investigators. The imam was one of several people suspected of links to Islamic terrorist groups who were arrested in northern Italy in late March and early April. Drissi was sought in the same probe. Police said Drissi is suspected of recruiting men for Ansar al-Islam as well as gathering financing for it. - "Italian Police Arrest Terrorism Suspect," AP via The Guardian UK, , Tuesday May 6, 2003 2:49 AM , http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-2642697,00.html

MAY 5, 2003 Monday : (ITALY : MILAN CELL : DRISSI ARRESTED) ROME (AP) - Police arrested a Tunisian suspected of working for an al-Qaida-linked Iraqi extremist group as he tried to board a train Monday in Milan, headed to an Italian town where he worked as a librarian in a mosque. The suspect, identified as Nourredine Drissi, had been wanted in Italy on international terrorism charges for alleged links to Ansar al-Islam, said police from the special operations squad of the paramilitary Carabinieri. U.S. officials believe Ansar al-Islam is linked to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. - "Italian Police Arrest Terrorism Suspect," AP via The Guardian UK, , Tuesday May 6, 2003 2:49 AM , http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-2642697,00.html

17 posted on 01/23/2004 5:00:15 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; All
U.S.: Al Qaida is 70 percent gone, their 'days are numbered'

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM




"The Al Qaida of the 9/11 period is under catastrophic stress," State Department counter-terrorism coordinator Cofer Black said. "They are being hunted down, their days are numbered."

Black's assertion, made in an interview with the London-based British Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday, is based on U.S. intelligence community estimates that about 70 percent of Al Qaida has been neutralized, officials said.

Saudi officials agreed with the U.S. assessment and said the kingdom has made significant gains against Al Qaida, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Al Qaida leaders have been arrested and training camps have been discovered.


U.S. officials said Al Qaida has been rapidly losing its attack capabilities and was relying increasingly on smaller Islamic groups based in Southeast Asia and North Africa. The officials said thousands of Al Qaida operatives have been captured, killed or neutralized, with cells eliminated even in such strongholds as Kuwait and Yemen.
The intelligence community assessed that Al Qaida was at the height of its strength in mid-2001 with thousands of recruits trained in Afghanistan and other sent abroad as agents and sleepers.

The intelligence assessment was presented to the Bush administration and reported by President George Bush during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. The assessment regards Al Qaida as becoming steadily weaker, with difficulties in raising funds and sustaining insurgency cells.

[In Hamburg, a German court was told that authorities have a witness who claims that Osama Bin Laden met Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei and senior Iranian officials on May 4, 2001. The meeting took place in an air force base to plan the suicide attacks in the United States in September 2001. The witness was identified as an Iranian defector, known by his cover name Hamid Reza Zakeri, who had been an agent for Iranian intelligence until mid-2001.]

Officials said Al Qaida would continue as a much weaker organization and would focus largely on Saudi Arabia, the Horn of Africa while seeking to consolidate under the protection of Iran. They envision attacks being financed rather than carried out by Bin Laden.

The loss of veteran insurgency operatives has reduced the lethality of operations, officials said. Another factor has been the lack of success by Al Qaida to establish and sustain cells in many Western countries.

"The next group of concern would be a generation younger," Black said. "They're influenced by what they see on TV; they are influenced by misrepresentation of the facts. They seem to be long on radicalism and comparatively short on training."


"We have arrested over 600 terror suspects; many of the top Al Qaida leaders in the kingdom have been killed or captured," Adel Al Jubeir, foreign policy adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, said. "And scores of cells and training camps have been uncovered and destroyed before they could do any harm to the innocent."
On Thursday, the United States and Saudi Arabia requested that the United Nations freeze the assets of four branches of an official Saudi charity accused of financially supporting Al Qaida. The U.S.-Saudi demand concerned the freezing of assets of the Riyad-based Al Haramain Islamic Foundation in such countries as Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan and Tanzania.

"These branches have provided financial, material and logistical support to the Al Qaida network and other terrorist organization," the U.S. Treasury Department said.

Al Haramain is a charity sponsored by the Saudi government. Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister Salah Ibn Abdul Aziz Al Sheik oversees the charity.

"Al Haramain stated it closed branches in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan, but continued monitoring by the United States and Saudi Arabia indicates that these offices and or former officials associated with these branches are either continuing to operate or have other plans to avoid these measures," the Treasury Department said.

18 posted on 01/23/2004 5:01:40 PM PST by woofie
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To: woofie
Thursday, January 23, 2003 AP and Fox News quick facts.

Name, nationality and status of some major Al Qaeda figures:

Usama bin Laden, Saudi, supreme leader: At large.

Mohammed Atef, Egyptian, military chief: Killed in U.S. airstrike.

Ayman Al-Zawahri, Egyptian, bin Laden's doctor and spiritual adviser: At large.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Kuwaiti-Pakistani, suspected mastermind of Sept. 11 attacks: At large.

Abu Zubaydah, Palestinian-Saudi, terrorist coordinator: Captured.

Saif Al-Adil, Egyptian, bin Laden security chief: At large.

Shaikh Saiid Al-Sharif, Saudi, bin Laden's brother-in-law and Sept. 11 financier: At large.

Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri, Saudi, Persian Gulf operations chief: Captured.

Tawfiq Attash Khallad, Yemeni, operational leader, suspected mastermind of USS Cole bombing in October 2000: At large.

Qaed Salim Sinan Al-Harethi, Yemeni, Yemen operations chief: Killed in U.S. airstrike.

Omar Al-Farouq, Kuwaiti, Southeast Asia operations chief: Captured.

Ibn Al-Shaykh Al-Libi, Libyan, training camp commander: Captured.

Saad bin Laden, Saudi, bin Laden's son: At large.

Abu Mohammad Al-Masri, Egyptian, training camp commander: At large.

Tariq Anwar Al-Sayyid Ahmad, Egyptian, operational planner: Killed in U.S. airstrike.

Mohammed Salah, Egyptian, operational planner: Killed in U.S. airstrike.

Abd Al-Hadi Al-Iraqi, training camp commander: Captured.

Abu Musab Zarqawi, Jordanian, operational planner: At large.

Abu Zubair Al-Haili, Saudi, operational planner: Arrested. Abu Hafs The Mauritanian, operational and spiritual leader: At large.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Kuwaiti, Al Qaeda spokesman: At large.

Midhat Mursi, Egyptian, responsible for research on weapons of mass destruction: At large.

Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Saudi, financier: At large.

Hamza Al-Qatari, financier: Killed.

Ahmad Said Al-Kadr, Egyptian-Canadian, financier: At large.

Zaid Khayr, operational leader: At large.

Abu Salah Al-Yemeni: logistics, Killed.

Abu Jafar Al-Jaziri, aide to Abu Zubyadah: Killed.

Abu Basir Al-Yemeni, Yemeni, aide to Usama bin Laden: At large.

Abd Al-Aziz Al-Jamal, aide to al-Zawahri: At large.

Ramzi Binalshibh, Yemeni, planner and organizer of Sept. 11 attacks: Captured.

Zacarias Moussaoui, charged as conspirator with Sept. 11 hijackers: Arrested.

Zakariya Essabar, member of cell with chief Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta: At large.

Said Bahaji, member of cell with chief Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta: At large

19 posted on 01/23/2004 5:05:40 PM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb republicans. - Capt. Tom)
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To: Capt. Tom
The list I posted is a year old. But that was what the Al Queda targets were then. Apparently now they feel Abu Zargawi is a big fish. - Tom
20 posted on 01/23/2004 5:11:05 PM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb republicans. - Capt. Tom)
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To: woofie; Cindy; Alamo-Girl
In light of the article you just posted- notice the name of one guy in it?

Al Haramain is a charity sponsored by the Saudi government. Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister Salah Ibn Abdul Aziz Al Sheik oversees the charity.

Now look at this: Looks like the Islamic affairs Minister has been into kidknapping lately:

JUNE 2003 : (KING FAHD'S NEPHEW, SAUDI PRINCE ABDEL-AZIZ WAS KIDKNAPPED FROM SWITZERLAND AND TAKEN AGAINST HIS WILL BACK TO SAUDI ARABIA WHERE HE IS HELD UNDER HOUSE ARREST) An outspoken Saudi prince said on Thursday he was under house arrest in Riyadh after Saudi agents drugged and abducted him from Switzerland because of his criticism of corruption and calls for democracy in the kingdom. Prince Sultan bin Turki bin Abdel-Aziz, a nephew of King Fahd, told Reuters by telephone he was drugged during a meeting in Geneva last June [2003] with two government ministers, then found himself in a Riyadh hospital after 10 days in coma.
Saudi government officials declined to comment. Saudi analysts say Prince Sultan's public campaign to curb the powers of the royal family has been a source of deep embarrassment to the kingdom's rulers.
"I was between hospital and my house for the last six months. Now I'm at home, but they (police) are outside," the prince, who has often attacked corruption in Saudi Arabia on Arab satellite channels, said by telephone.
Details of the incident have been posted on the Web Site of a London-based Saudi dissident group, the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (www.yaislah.org).
He said police guards had a month ago allowed him use of a telephone but warned him "not to do anything that would upset them." Prince Sultan said he had had no contact with any government officials about his position since his return.
"I can go to my mother's house or to the mosque, but that's it. I can't leave Riyadh or the country," he said.
"I was outside the kingdom for over a year, between Germany and Switzerland, talking about politics. I'm not against the regime -- I'm part of it, as a nephew of King Fahd -- but I'm against corruption and I want a democratic country," he said.
Prince Sultan said he was snatched out of Switzerland after the Minister of Islamic Affairs Saleh al-Sheikh and Minister of State Abdel-Aziz bin Fahd, son of the king, called him to a meeting at a royal residence in Geneva.
"One left to the bathroom and the other answered the phone, while five men came in and drugged me," he said, accusing the Swiss authorities of complicity in the incident.
International and domestic criticism of the Islamic kingdom, dominated by the royal family, has increased since the September 11, 2001, attacks focused attention on religious extremism. Most of the attackers were Saudi men. The world's biggest oil exporter, facing a wave of militant violence and growing economic challenges, has embarked on a program of cautious reform despite fierce opposition from some powerful religious figures.- "Saudi Royal Says He Was Abducted Over Criticism," Reuters, Thursday?, JANUARY 22, 2003

21 posted on 01/23/2004 5:16:54 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Capt. Tom
They thought so then, too- he's been on Powell's list since he mentioned him in his speech to the UN before the Iraq war; Bbush likewise mentioned him in his SOTU back in 2003. I've been following him for some time myself. He's of interest because of his fondness for poisons as well as his involvement with the assassination of Laurence Foley in late 2002.

Here's his entry on your year-old list:

Abu Musab Zarqawi, Jordanian, operational planner: At large

22 posted on 01/23/2004 5:22:27 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Dog
Send him to a Ghulag.
23 posted on 01/23/2004 5:23:46 PM PST by Consort
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To: piasa
These names are driving me nuts
24 posted on 01/23/2004 5:25:31 PM PST by woofie
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; woofie; Dog
Thanks for the ping, Ernest.

CENTCOM, CJTF 7 reports from last week:

Task Force “All-American” Captures Key Resistance Leader In Al Fallujah - Update

RAMADI, Iraq— On 11 Jan, 2004,
elements of the 82d Airborne Division combined with Special Operations Forces conducted a coordinated mission in Fallujah. The purpose of this particular mission was to capture black list #54, Khamis Sirhan Bashir Al-Muhammed. The mission was a success, Khamis Sirhan was captured and there were no friendly casualties.

The 82d Airborne Division has been tracking Khamis Sirhan and he has been the Division’s number 1 target for a number of months. Kahmis Sirhan was the key regional former regime element leader in Al Anbar province, to include Fallujah, Khalidiyah and Ramadi. He was responsible for coordinating, facilitating, and financing numerous anti-coalition attacks. He is also suspected of involvement in acts of sabotage against the power, oil, fuel and rail infrastructure since the fall of the former dictator’s regime.

Khamis Sirhan was meticulously tracked down over the last several months. Sirhan had been on the run, moving frequently as coalition forces pursued him. Through precise raids, the capture of Sirhan’s associates, the intelligence gained from them, and the aggressive publication of the enhanced rewards program, Task Force All American was able to eliminate Sirhan’s avenues of escape and places of sanctuary. These efforts included eight previous raids on known and suspected safe houses, culminating in the final successful mission in the hours of darkness of January 11, 2004.

Sirhan has been extremely cooperative since his capture and continues to provide valuable information. From interrogation, it was confirmed that Sirhan was a prominent founding member of the Ba’ath Party and the regional commander of the Al-Anbar FRE and radical Islamist resistance. He has provided names and places of key individuals associated with the Foreign Regime Element (FRE) cells and Foreign Fighter (FF) cells. Since his capture, Task Force All American has captured two former Iraqi General Officers involved in anti-coalition activities and a total of 41 other security internees.

Release #040115a

 Task Force “All-American” Captures Key Resistance Leader In Al Fallujah - Update ~ CJTF7 | 1/15/04

 

Key Leaders Of Anti-Coalition Forces Captured

RAMADI, Iraq –
Task Force “All-American” soldiers captured two high-ranking officers of the anti-Coalition forces operating in the Al Anbar province.

In two separate operations over the last 48 hours, General Mamoud Khudair Younes and Brig. Gen. Kalil Ibraham Fayal al-Dulaymi were captured during the conduct of combat operations in western Baghdad and the Al Anbar Province.

Younes, captured during Operation Saloon yesterday, received correspondence and funds from Saddam Hussein before Hussein’s capture and was a former Iraqi Intelligence Service officer in the Al Anbar province. Younes was also linked with the shoot down of the UH-60A Air Ambulance helicopter Jan. 8

Al-Dulaymi, captured during Operation Rock Slide early this morning, was the leader of a multi-regional network of former regime elements operating in parts of Baghdad and in the Al Anbar province. Al-Dulaymi was also linked to a November 2003 rocket attack on Forward Operating Base St. Mere in Fallujah.

The capture of these two men by Task Force “All-American” strengthens the security of the Al Anbar province, and Iraq as a whole. The removal of these men will also disrupt those responsible for corrupting the civilians of Iraq in their transformation to a free and democratic society.

Release #040115b

  ~ Key Leaders Of Anti-Coalition Forces Captured ~ CJTF7 | 1/15/04
 http://www.cjtf7.army.mil/media-information/january2004/040115b.htm


Celebrating my 'baby brother's' brand new baby girl today. Bad guy news will mostly have to wait 'til tomorrow. (^:

25 posted on 01/23/2004 5:28:28 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("The chapter of Iraq's history - Saddam Hussein's reign of terror - is now closed." Lt. Gen. Sanchez)
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To: woofie
It's a wonder they can keep track of all their alias..
26 posted on 01/23/2004 5:32:38 PM PST by Dog ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our Country")
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To: Dog
The result of my search:

HOW ABU HASAN BRAKE WIND.



They recount that in the City Kaukabán of Al-Yaman there was a man of the Fazlí tribe who had left Badawi life, and become a townsman for many years and was a merchant of the most opulent merchants. His wife had deceased when both were young; and his friends were instant with him to marry again, ever quoting to him the words of the poet,

"Go, gossip! re-wed thee, for Prime draweth near:
A wife is an almanac--good for the year."

So being weary of contention, Abu Hasan entered into negotiations with the old women who procure matches, and married a maid like Canopus when he hangeth over the seas of Al-Hind. He made high festival therefor, bidding to the wedding banquet kith and kin, Olema and Fakirs; friends and foes and all his acquaintances of that countryside. The whole house was thrown open to feasting: there were rices of five several colours, and sherbets of as many more; and kids stuffed with walnuts and almonds and pistachios and a camel colt [FN#192] roasted whole. So they ate and drank and made mirth and merriment; and the bride was displayed in her seven dresses and one more, to the women, who could not take their eyes off her. At last, the bridegroom was summoned to the chamber where she sat enthroned; and he rose slowly and with dignity from his divan; but in so doing, for that he was over full of meat and drink, lo and behold! he let fly a fart, great and terrible. Thereupon each guest turned to his neighbour and talked aloud and made as though he had heard nothing, fearing for his life. But a consuming fire was lit in Abu Hasan's heart; so he pretended a call of nature; and, in lieu of seeking the bride chamber, he went down to the house court and saddled his mare and rode off, weeping bitterly, through the shadow of the night. In time he reached Láhej where he found a ship ready to sail for India; so he shipped on board and made Calicut of Malabar. Here he met with many Arabs, especially Hazramís [FN#193], who recommended him to the King; and this King (who was a Kafir) trusted him and advanced him to the captainship of his body guard. He remained ten years in all solace and delight of life; at the end of which time he was seized with home sickness; and the longing to behold his native land was that of a lover pining for his beloved; and he came near to die of yearning desire. But his appointed day had not dawned; so, after taking the first bath of health, he left the King without leave, and in due course landed at Makallá of Hazramaut. Here he donned the rags of a religious; and, keeping his name and case secret, fared for Kaukaban afoot; enduring a thousand hardships of hunger, thirst and fatigue; and braving a thousand dangers from the lion, the snake and the Ghul. But when he drew near his old home, he looked down upon it from the hills with brimming eyes, and said in himself, "Haply they might know thee; so I will wander about the outskirts, and hearken to the folk. Allah grant that my case be not remembered by them!" He listened carefully for seven nights and seven days, till it so chanced that, as he was sitting at the door of a hut, he heard the voice of a young girl saying, "O my mother, tell me the day when I was born; for such an one of my companions is about to take an omen [FN#194] for me." And the mother answered, "Thou was born, O my daughter, on the very night when Abu Hasan farted." Now the listener no sooner heard these words than he rose up from the bench, and fled away saying to himself, "Verily thy fart hath become a date, which shall last for ever and ever; even as the poet said,

'As long as palms shall shift the flower; *
As long as palms shall sift the flour.’ [FN#195]

And he ceased not travelling and voyaging and returned to India; and there abode in self exile till he died; and the mercy of Allah be upon him! [FN#196] And they tell another story of


27 posted on 01/23/2004 5:33:31 PM PST by woofie
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; Howlin; Cindy
From your post:

Sirhan has been extremely cooperative since his capture and continues to provide valuable information. From interrogation, it was confirmed that Sirhan was a prominent founding member of the Ba’ath Party and the regional commander of the Al-Anbar FRE and radical Islamist resistance. He has provided names and places of key individuals associated with the Foreign Regime Element (FRE) cells and Foreign Fighter (FF) cells.

But I thought the antiwar groups have been insisting all along that since Baathists are secular that Baathists and Islamists don't get along and couldn't possibly cooperate?

28 posted on 01/23/2004 5:43:18 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
You're excused !

I am going to my grand daughter's very momentous performance in a play tonight.

She has practiced her song on me several times and I am suppose to bring my camera.



Family events matter a great deal!!!
29 posted on 01/23/2004 5:45:14 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: piasa; Miss Marple
Sirhan is singing like a canary.
30 posted on 01/23/2004 5:45:39 PM PST by Dog ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our Country")
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To: Dog
I love the sound of canaries.
31 posted on 01/23/2004 5:49:26 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Dog
It occurs to me that you have a talent for deciphering these names. I try to keep track, but they all start to sound alike to me.

Perhaps you should consider studying Arabic at a local college. You might have a latent gift for languages, you know. I am serious.

32 posted on 01/23/2004 6:02:44 PM PST by Miss Marple
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I am going to my grand daughter's very momentous performance in a play tonight.

Oh, that's wonderful. I am glad she has such a loving 'audience' to practice on. (^:

33 posted on 01/23/2004 7:05:37 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("The chapter of Iraq's history - Saddam Hussein's reign of terror - is now closed." Lt. Gen. Sanchez)
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To: Dog
Suspected Al Qaeda Operatives Nabbed in Iraq

Friday, January 23, 2004

WASHINGTON — U.S. forces in Iraq believe they may be facing an Al Qaeda cell in Fallujah after two men with suspected ties to the terror network were captured in the last week, sources told Fox News Friday.



Husam al-Yemeni was arrested by U.S. forces last Thursday and is said to be part of the leadership structure of Ansar al-Islam (search), the Al Qaeda-associated terrorist group based in Iraqi Kurdistan. Some U.S. officials described al-Yemeni as the first Al Qaeda operative captured in Iraq.

Another possible Al Qaeda operative, Hasan Ghul, was detained Thursday in Iraq. Ghul, a Pakistani, is known to have been an Al Qaeda member since the early 1990s, when Al Qaeda was established.

Officials said it was too early to be sure, but at least one guerrilla cell in Fallujah (search) — a Sunni Arab city known for its fierce enmity toward American forces — was believed to be linked to Al Qaeda. The officials said three other possible Al Qaeda operatives — two Egyptians and an Iraqi — had been captured in raids Sunday.

U.S. commanders in Iraq and Pentagon officials had said this week they were seeing signs foreign fighters were attempting to organize both inside and outside Iraq.

One official said Ghul was "definitely in Iraq to promote an Al Qaeda, Islamic extremist agenda." Ghul is described by officials as a facilitator known in terrorist circles as "the Gatekeeper" who moves money and people around the Middle East, Africa and possibly beyond. Officials added that Ghul has extensive contacts in Al Qaeda and wider terrorist communities, and is thought to have had some kind of connection to the 1998 East African embassy bombings, though officials stress those links are still being probed.

Al-Yemeni is believed to be the right-hand man to Abu Zarqawi (search), a man the Bush administration says has worked directly with Usama bin Laden. Zarqawi, who is believed to have been operating in Iraq before March's invasion, is still at large.

Early last year, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell detailed Zarqawi's significance in an appearance before the U.N. Security Council.

"Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Usama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda lieutenants," Powell said.

Powell described Zarqawi as a Palestinian born in Jordan who fought in Afghanistan more than a decade ago. In 2000, Zarqawi returned to Afghanistan, where Powell said he oversaw terrorist training camps.

"One of his specialties at the camp was poisons," Powell said. "When our coalition ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosives training center."

Fox News' Bret Baier and Ian McCaleb contributed to this report.

34 posted on 01/23/2004 8:43:16 PM PST by woofie
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To: piasa
Great catch! Great post with lots of useful information! Thank you so very much!!!
35 posted on 01/23/2004 8:58:22 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Shermy

Since you mentioned the squabbling going on in Saudi Arabia ... look at this old post concerning the al Haramain charity and the abduction of Prince Sultan bin Turki bin Abdel Aziz by the overseer of that charity- incidentally, also the Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister Salah Ibn Abdul Aziz Al Sheik.


36 posted on 07/11/2004 8:53:39 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Grampa Dave

You might want to see this, too, since you've been keeping an eye on the al Haramain charity up in Oregon.


37 posted on 07/11/2004 8:57:53 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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