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July 18, 2007

Captured AQI Leader: Islamic State of Iraq Is A Front Group For Al Qaeda; Leader Of That Group Is... Fictitious?!?!

I'm having trouble swallowing that last part, but I suppose these guys are goofy enough -- and arrogant enough -- to do that sort of thing. Bill Roggio has the scoop that you won't find in the MSM. (Actually, you will: ABCNews is running it too. Thought I doubt it'll make Nightline.)

This guy was the top Iraqi in AQI. And, as it turns out, one of the few actual Iraqis in this largely foreign, foreign-led terrorist organization.

Quick, let's leave Iraq to go fight Al Qaeda where they're not.

U.S. Special Operations Forces scored a major victory against al Qaeda in Iraq’s senior leadership and gained valuable insight on the al Qaeda creation known as the Islamic State of Iraq. On July 4, Coalition forces captured Khalid Abdul Fatah Da’ud Mahmud Al Mashadani, a senior al Qaeda in Iraq and Islamic State of Iraq leader and close associate of Abu Ayyub al Masri, al Qaeda’s commander. Mashadani, also known as Abu Shahed, was captured in Mosul and is thought by the U.S. military to be the most senior Iraqi-born leader in al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). During Mashadani’s interrogation, the U.S. confirmed the Islamic State of Iraq is an al Qaeda front and that its leader does not really exist.

...

During interrogations, Mashadani admitted that the Islamic State of Iraq was merely a puppet front group established by al Qaeda in order to put an Iraqi face on the insurgency. Mashadani cofounded the Islamic State of Iraq with al-Masri in 2006. “The Islamic State of Iraq is a ‘front’ organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within AQI in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of AQI,” said Brig. Gen Bergner.

But not only is the Islamic State of Iraq a contrived entity, its leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi is as well. “To further this myth [of the Islamic State of Iraq], al Masri created a fictional political head of ISI known as Omar al-Baghdadi,” said Brig. Gen Bergner. Al-Baghdadi is actually played by an actor named Abu Abdullah al Naima, and al Masri “maintains exclusive control over al Naima as he acts the part of the fictitious al-Baghdadi character.”

Michael Moore just emailed me to say, "Fictitious or not, they are the Minutemen, and they will win." And then he ate a passing child.

Thanks to Nicholas.

More: Big, Big Fish: I didn't realize quite how high up this particular creature was in AQ:

Bergner said al-Mashhadani served as an intermediary between al-Masri and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri…

Okay, to be honest here, I'm getting a little skeptical of all this guy's claims. But there seems little doubt he's the highest ranking Iraqi in the ISI.


digg this
posted by Ace at 12:05 PM

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