Middle East News
Iraqi security forces insist detainee is al-Qaeda leader
May 17, 2009, 15:38 GMT
Baghdad - Iraqi security forces on Sunday insisted that a man they detained last month is, in fact, the shadowy leader of an Iraqi militant network, despite a recording purportedly from the man claiming he is still free.
Iraqi military spokesman General Qassim Atta told Iraqi state television that the man they had arrested last month was Sheikh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, 'the name given to the bloodiest man who bears the most guilt for crimes against innocents, Ahmed Abd Ahmed Khamis (al- Majmaiy).'
'We expect him to behave as a coward before Iraqi forces and to supply us with a wealth of information on al-Qaeda's financing and plans,' Atta said.
Atta's statement came days after al-Jazeera aired an audio tape from a man who claimed to be al-Baghdadi.
'Everyone was shocked by the lie ... in which they claim again that they have arrested me,' said the voice recording.
'We do not know in the first place the person whose picture was shown on Iraqi television,' said the tape. 'The leader of the faithful, Sheikh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi ... is well.'
In March and May 2007, respectively, Iraqi police said that al- Baghdadi had been arrested and killed.
After those reports turned out to be false, US Brigadier General Kevin Bergner in July 2007 told reporters that the US military believed al-Baghdadi was a myth created 'to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of al-Qaeda in Iraq.'