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Thread: Zarqawi 'forced to step down'

  1. #1
    Partridge Guest

    Zarqawi 'forced to step down'

    [Partridge: Yeah, kinda hard to 'lead' an uprising when you're dead innit? Btw, if you're wondering about the discrepancy between the two headlines, the thread title was the headline on the BBC rss newsfeed, the headline below is the actual headline on the page]

    Zarqawi 'not leading Iraq unrest'

    Jordanian al-Qaeda militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been forced to step down as leader of a coalition of Iraqi militants, a leading Islamist claims.

    Huthaifa Azzam, whose father was a mentor of Osama Bin Laden, said Zarqawi was replaced by an Iraqi two weeks ago.

    Mr Azzam claimed some were unhappy about Zarqawi's tactics and tendency to speak for the insurgency as a whole.

    However, experts say choosing an Iraqi as political leader is a tactic aimed at giving the insurgency an Iraqi face.


    The new political leader of the coalition of insurgent groups - of which Zarqawi is part - is Abdullah al-Baghdadi, Mr Azzam said.

    He said that the move was in part prompted by embarrassment at Zarqawi's attacks on other countries, such as last year's hotel bombings in Jordan, and his use of brutal tactics, such as videotaped beheadings.

    The claims cannot be independently verified and it is not clear how Mr Azzam came by the information.

    He claims close contacts with the insurgents and is the son of Abdullah Azzam, a charismatic Palestinian who was one of the seminal figures in the modern jihadi movement in the Muslim world.

    Influence on Bin Laden

    Abdullah Azzam encouraged Muslims, including the young Osama Bin Laden, to go to fight in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s.

    As a result, the son speaks with a certain authority about the jihadi groups in Iraq, the BBC's Middle East analyst, Roger Hardy, says.

    As head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Zarqawi has become the country's most notorious insurgent - a shadowy figure associated with the bloodiest bombings, assassinations and the beheading of foreign hostages.

    In January this year al-Qaeda in Iraq posted a statement on a website saying that it had joined five other insurgent groups in Iraq to form the Mujahideen Shura Council, or the Consultative Council of Holy Warriors.

    Even if the claims of him adopting a lower profile turn out to be true, our Middle East analyst says that there can be little doubt that as a military leader - responsible for some of the most ruthless acts of violence in Iraq - Zarqawi remains a force to be reckoned with.

  2. #2
    Partridge Guest
    Zarqawi 'sacked for mistakes'

    Iraq's resistance has replaced Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as political head of the rebels, the son of Osama bin Laden's mentor has said in Jordan.

    Hudayf Azzam, 35, who claims close contacts with the fighters, said on Sunday: "The Iraqi resistance's high command asked Zarqawi to give up his political role and replaced him with an Iraqi, because of several mistakes he made.

    "Zarqawi's role has been limited to military action. Zarqawi bowed to the orders two weeks ago and was replaced by Iraqi national Abdullah bin Rashed al-Baghdadi."

    Azzam's late father, Abdallah Azzam, was known as the "prince of mujahedeens" and advised bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda.

    Azzam said he regularly receives "credible information on the resistance in Iraq. He said al-Zarqawi had "made many political mistakes", including "the creation of an independent organisation, al-Qaeda in Iraq".

    "Zarqawi also took the liberty of speaking in the name of the Iraqi people and resistance, a role which belongs only to the Iraqis," Azzam said.

    As a result "the resistance command inside and outside Iraq, including imams, criticised him and after long discussions demanded that he be confined to military action".

    "Zarqawi pledged not to carry out any more attacks against Iraq's neighbours after having been criticised for these operations which are considered a violation of sharia [Islamic law]," Azzam said.

  3. #3
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    Intersting news.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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