U.S. and Iraqi officials have today announced that two “Al-Qaeda in
Iraq” leaders have been killed in an air strike carried out by American
troops. A major flaw in the story that seems to have been overlooked, is
that both of the men have already been reported captured and killed on
several occasions, with U.S. officials also having previously declared
one of them a “fictional character” that was invented by the other!
The Washington Post reports:
The deaths of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al-Qaeda
in Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the head of an umbrella group that
includes al-Qaeda in Iraq, should disrupt insurgent attacks inside the
country, officials said. Their slayings could also provide Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki (pictured above) with a decisive political
boost at a critical time.
“The death of these terrorists is potentially the most significant
blow to al-Qaeda in Iraq since the beginning of the insurgency,” Gen.
Ray Odierno, the top commander of U.S. troops in Iraq said in a
statement. “There is still work to do but this is a significant step
forward in ridding Iraq [of] terrorists.”
The two insurgent leaders were said to have been killed on Saturday
in a night raid involving Iraqi and American forces.
United States military officials confirmed that Iraqi
security forces had killed the two men. “The death of these two
terrorists is a potentially devastating blow to Al Qaeda in Iraq,” the
American command said in a statement.
He (the Iraqi prime minister) said the house was destroyed, and the
two bodies were found in a hole in the ground where they had apparently
Bizarrely, the Reuters piece quotes the Iraqi prime minister
pinpointing the location of the raid as “a house in Thar-Thar, a rural
area 50 miles west of Baghdad that is regarded as a hotbed of Qaeda
activity”, however, the Washington Post report quotes U.S. officials
saying the raid occurred “a few miles southwest of Tikrit”. If you look
at a map of Iraq, those two descriptions do not entirely add up, unless
you consider “a few miles” to be over 100. Certainly a more specific
location could have been given.
However, that is perhaps the least of the problems surrounding this
Anyone who reads the news should be feeling a profound sense of déjà
vu, because almost a year ago to the day, al-Baghdadi was reported captured by Iraqi security forces.
His arrest was confirmed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,
the same man now purporting that Baghdadi has been killed in a raid.
Al-Baghdadi was the replacement al-CIA-da boogie man for Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi, who was also previously reported captured and killed on
several occasions, after al-Zarqawi was laid to rest for good by the PR arm of
the Pentagon in 2006.
The announcement of al-Baghdadi’s capture year ago, jarred with
multiple previous reports over a two years period, detailing his arrest,
his death and even questioning his existence altogether.
In March 2007, the Interior Ministry of Iraq claimed that al-Baghdadi
had been captured in Baghdad. This was reported by AP and picked up by
the likes of CNN, whose report stated that another insurgent had
positively confirmed al-Baghdadi’s identity.
The U.S. military denied that al-Baghdadi was in their custody,
however, and one day later Iraqi officials retracted
their statements regarding his arrest.
Indeed this back and forth announcement of capture and later
retraction occurred three times in the space of one
Then one month later, on May 3, 2007, the Iraqi Interior Ministry announced that al-Baghdadi had been killed by American and Iraqi forces north of Baghdad.
However, in July 2007, the U.S. military declared that al-Baghdadi
had never actually existed and was, for all
intents and purposes, a myth.
A reportedly high ranking “Al Qaeda in Iraq” detainee identified as
Khaled al-Mashhadani, then claimed that al-Baghdadi was a fictional character created to give
an Iraqi face to a foreign-run terror group, and that the “Islamic State
of Iraq” was a “virtual organisation in cyberspace” created by al-Qaeda
in Iraq leader Abu Ayub al Masri.
The person claiming to be Baghdadi continued to release video and
audiotapes attacking U.S. occupation of Iraq, but refused to show his
The U.S. military’s claim that Baghdadi is a fictitious character was
then challenged in May 2008 after a police chief in Haditha said
Baghdadi’s real identity is Hamed Dawood Mohammed Khalil al Zawi. “He
was an officer in the security services and was dismissed from the army
because of his extremism,” the police chief told al Arabiya television.
A year later, in April 2009, following his latest capture, the Iraqi
government displayed a picture of Baghdadi for the
first time, adding that they were attempting to glean information from
The Al Qaeda-linked group the Islamic State of Iraq denied
the government reports that al-Baghdadi had been captured,
and according to the SITE Institute, released a “genuine” recording of Baghdadi announcing that he was still at large.
But Iraqi officials then released a video of Baghdadi’s interrogation,
in which he claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Shia shrine in
Samarra in February 2006, and also described how his terrorist group was
However, tapes and messages continued to be released throughout 2009 in
the name of Baghdadi, claiming that he had not been captured and
spurring on militants in Iraq. Up to the present day in 2010, such
messages continued to be reported on by mainstream sources, such as the Associated Press, without any
explanation as to how a captured terrorist could be releasing the
Now Baghdadi has been reported killed again!
The story becomes even more intriguing given that the second man
reported to have been killed and found in a ditch last Saturday was Abu
Ayub al Masri – the “creator” of the fictional character of al-Baghdadi.
Al Masri himself was also reported to have been killed in May 2007.
He then rose from the dead to be captured in May 2008 in a joint US-Iraqi
Prime Minister al-Maliki’s presumed amnesia over the fact that he
already annouced Baghdadi captured less than twelve months ago becomes
more suspect when you take into account that he is trying to negotiate
support for his State of Law coalition following parliamentary elections
in which it emerged only as the second largest bloc.
Presumably the ridiculous loose ends of this soap opera will now be
tied off and memory holed – although we cannot put it past al Masri and
his imaginary friend to rise from the grave one more time a year down
the line, particularly given that the Baghdadi character keeps being
resurrected and acknowledged by the Iraqi government, the U.S. military
and the mainstream media.
This saga is another example of how a manufactured smoke and mirrors
propaganda veils reality. The “war on terror” mantra continues to be
propagated as justification to wage permanent occupation and control
over the middle east by the global elite.
Already Joe Biden is parading around, announcing the news as a “devastating blow” delivered to Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda in Iraq, al Zarqawi, al Baghdadi and the legions of other al qaeda operatives who
have been reportedly captured and killed over and over are used as
interchangeable PR tools.
Are or were any of them ever real? Possibly. Was there more than one
Baghdadi? Maybe. However those facts matter little now.
Once again 99% of the corporate media will no doubt enthusiastically
champion the latest killings as a key victory in the continuing war on
terror, and the majority of Americans who even notice will not take a
second glance at the ludicrous back story.