Thursday, April 23, 2009
You couldn’t make it up if you tried. AFP today reports that Al-Qaeda chief in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, has been captured and arrested. The problem with this is that al-Baghdadi has already been reported captured, previously reported killed and even said to have never actually existed by the U.S. military.
“Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was arrested today in Baghdad,” Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qasim Atta told AFP.
“It was Iraqi forces who arrested him based on an intelligence tipoff from someone,” he added.
Also known as Abu Hamza al-Baghdadi and Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi, many questions have surrounded the so called leader of al Qaeda’s political front organization the “Islamic State of Iraq”.
He was thought to have been one of the figures to succeed the equally shadowy Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as a leader of insurgent forces in Iraq in 2006, after al Zarqawi, who was also previously reported captured and killed on several occasions, was laid to rest for good by the PR arm of the Pentagon.
The announcement of al-Baghdadi’s capture today jars with multiple previous reports from up to two years ago, 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 week.
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 reported 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 face.
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.
Now Baghdadi has been reported captured again!
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.
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. However that matters little now.
Once again 99% of the corporate media will no doubt enthusiastically champion this latest arrest 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.