May 8, 2008
Now that “a joint US-Iraqi operation” has supposedly captured Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the Pentagon does not have to fork out the $5 million price they put on his head back in 2006. Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, as you may recall, was the successor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the miraculous al-Qaeda terrorist killed several times, only to rise like Phoenix from the ashes. According to the official version of history, al-Muhajir heads up al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, aka Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Sharif Hazaa, is said to have trained in Afghanistan. In other words, if we can believe anything about al-Muhajir — all our info comes from the corporate media, that is to say the Pentagon — he was trained in a camp established by way of CIA-ISI collaboration.
In addition, the official story indicates al-Muhajir joined Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1982. The Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist group originated with the Muslim Brotherhood, or Ikhwan, an organization long ago penetrated by British and U.S. intelligence, as CIA agent Miles Copeland acknowledges in his memoirs. Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt after the death of pan-Arab nationalist Gamal Abddul Nasser, was a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood and used the organization to stamp out nationalist sentiment. Sadat worked closely with the Saudis, the CIA, and Henry Kissinger (see Robert Dreyfuss, Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, pp. 147-162, 165).
It is interesting to note as well that Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted on various terrorist charges, including a plot to bomb New York landmarks such as the UN building, the FBI headquarters and the Holland Tunnel, served as a “spiritual mentor” for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. “Rahman played a leading role in recruiting foreign Islamic fighters against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and also raised finance for the ‘holy war.’ He was issued a US entry visa in 1987. In 1990, Rahman was interviewed in Khartoum, Sudan, by the CIA’s area station chief. He was subsequently issued with a multiple-entry visa by an undercover CIA operative who worked in the consular section of the US embassy there,” writes Franklin Freeman.
It is fair to assume al-Muhajir worked closely with the CIA as well, or was, like thousands of others, a useful idiot put to use by the CIA, Pakistan’s ISI, and the Saudis.
At any rate, like his mentor al-Zarqawi, al-Muhajir was killed a couple times, the first time in October 5, 2006 during a raid conducted by the U.S. and then on May 1, 2007 by Sunni tribesmen. General Abdul Kareem Khalaf told the Guardian at the time, “We have definite intelligence reports that al-Masri was killed today.”
Later, as propaganda requirements necessitated, al-Masri’s death was “proved to be wrong,” as the Times Online reports today. Al-Masri “the Egyptian” was brought back to life, only to be captured as the U.S. wages “a protracted battle for control of Mosul.” According to the Times, “Sunni extremists have moved there after the so-called Sunni Awakening — the turning of indigenous Iraqi resistance fighters against their former Al Qaeda allies — forced the extremists out of their bastions in the western desert, Baghdad and the province of Diyala, where some of the fiercest fighting of the US surge took place last year.”
Bloomberg reports the “leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, has been arrested,” and this was allegedly “confirmed by the Iraqi commander of the province, ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari told AP. The action also was reported on state television, AP said.” If confirmed, reports Reuters, “the arrest would be another blow for Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in Iraq, which has reeled under a wave of U.S. military operations in the past year and been forced to regroup in northern Iraq.”
The al-Masri story is a momentary plus for the Pentagon and the neocons, besieged for months on end with bad news about Iraq and the obvious fact the supposedly most powerful military in the world is unable to defeat the “insurgency,” actually a popular resistance against occupation.
As well, it sends an upbeat message — never mind how deceptive, but then we’re talking about neocons here — as Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert C. Byrd declares his “patience is growing thin” over muddled Democrats, weighed down with a supplemental spending bill in the House designating more money be squandered in the Iraq and Afghanistan bottomless pits.
“I am putting my colleagues in both the House and Senate on notice that whether the House acts or not next week, the Senate Appropriations Committee will move forward with a mark-up of the Supplemental Appropriations bill,” warned Byrd. Add to the bureaucratic quandary the fact a handful of anti-war Democrats, pretty much an endangered species in Congress these days, want a chance to vote on language that would require the Iraq money to be spent only on troop withdrawal.
No need for any of that now because the military is doing a smashing job having caught Hamza al-Muhajir, thus demonstrating progress in Iraq — or rather something spun to resemble progress, not that most Americans notice, having long ago turned away from their responsibility to speak out on what is most certainly a massive war crime.
Wait and see. The neocons will get their money. And maybe, down the road, after amnesia kicks in, al-Muhajir will reappear once again to ride high in the saddle of another corporate news cycle.
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