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Zarqawi's exit.

Combined news report Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi (October 1966 -- June 7, 2006) was the leader of the group al-Qaeda in Iraq. As an Islamist identified with the Salafi movement, Zarqawi opposed the presence of American and Western military forces in the Islamic world and opposed the West's support for and existence of Israel. In September 2005, he reportedly declared "all-out war" on Shia Muslims in Iraq and is believed responsible for dispatching numerous al-Qaeda suicide bombers throughout Iraq, especially to areas with large concentrations of Shia civilians. As the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq he is suspected of causing thousands of people's deaths--many, if not most of them, civilians.On June 7, 2006, Zarqawi was killed 1.5 miles north of Hibhib, near the city of Baquba in Iraq by a United States airstrike. FBI tests later confirmed Zarqawi's identity. Zarqawi along with his wife, Israa and their son Abdul Rahman were killed in the airstrike. Also killed was a five year old unidentified girl.Ahmad Fadeel Al-Nazal Al-Khalayleh is Zarqawi's real name. "Abu Musab" literally translates to "Musab's father", while the surname "Al-Zarqawi" translates as "man from Zarqa". Zarqawi was a native of the Jordanian city of Zarqa, located approximately 21 kilometers northeast of the capital Amman. The son of a native Jordanian family (Al-Khalayleh of the Beni Hassan tribe), Zarqawi grew up in the Jordanian city of Zarqa amidst poverty and squalor. At the age of 17, he dropped out of school.In 1989, Zarqawi travelled to Afghanistan to join the insurgency against the Soviet invasion, but the Soviets were already leaving by the time he arrived. It is thought that he met and befriended Osama bin Laden while there. Instead of fighting, he became a reporter for an Islamist newsletter. There are reports that in the mid-1990s, Zarqawi travelled to Europe and started the al-Tawhid terrorist organization, a group dedicated to installing an Islamic regime in Jordan.Zarqawi was arrested in Jordan in 1992, and spent seven years in a Jordanian prison for conspiring to overthrow the monarchy to establish an Islamic caliphate. According to some reports, Zarqawi became a feared leader among inmates there. According to others, he lacked the intelligence and charisma to lead any organization.Upon his release from prison in 1999, Zarqawi was involved in an attempt to blow up the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman, Jordan where many Israeli and American tourists lodged. He fled Jordan and travelled to Peshawar, Pakistan, near the Afghanistan border. In Afghanistan, Zarqawi established a terrorist training camp near Herat. According to the Bush administration, the training camp specialized in poisons and explosives.Jordanian and European intelligence agencies claim that Zarqawi formed the group Jund al-Sham in 1999 with $200,000 of start up money from Osama bin Laden. The group originally consisted of 150 members. It was infiltrated by members of Jordanian intelligence and scattered by Operation Enduring Freedom but in March 2005, a group of the same name claimed responsibility for a bombing in Doha, Qatar. Sometime in 2001, Zarqawi was arrested in Jordan but was soon released. He was later convicted in absentia and sentenced to death for plotting the attack on the Radisson SAS Hotel. He reportedly became a leader in the group, although his leadership role has not been established.Zarqawi's al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for the triple bombings of hotels in Amman, Jordan on November 9, 2005, which killed 60 people and injured 115 others, mostly Jordanians and Palestinians.Zarqawi's exit

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Publication:The Star (Amman, Jordan)
Date:Jun 17, 2006
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