Iraq: the new leader of al-Qaeda appears to openly

Posted on August 29, 2013


A video showing the execution of Syrian drivers in the Iraqi desert revived fear in the border region, while ensuring the publicity of a new leader of al-Qaeda that are displayed openly. – (YouTube / AFP / File)

Until his death in 2006, the name that sowed terror in the country was that of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an al Qaeda leader known for his cruelty and his attacks against the Shiite population.

But since the online, on August 25, a video showing the killing June 2 of three Syrian drivers on a highway in western Iraq, terror has a new face: that of Shaker al-Wahiyib Fahdaoui.

“This is the only openly kills (…) It is dangerous and cunning,” said Colonel Dwaij Yassin, head of intelligence for the police in the province of Al-Anbar in western countries .

The video, posted on the internet then first aired on television shows Fahdaoui interviewing four drivers to know their religious affiliation.

Three drivers say initially be Sunnis before it was discovered, according to the television, they are actually Alawites, a branch of Shiism which belongs to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad clan in the fight against rebels, including those linked to Al-Qaeda.

Fahdaoui aligns these three men along the road and runs cold, before releasing the fourth, a Sunni.

The video shows Fahdaoui unveiled face, while his men wearing balaclavas.

The operation takes place in broad daylight, without the attackers seem to worry about the possible presence of security forces on the highway.

Fahdaoui an Iraqi 27-year-door, like the jihadists, baggy trousers, a long beard and a keffiyeh.

He has built a reputation by fighting U.S. forces before being arrested and detained in the south of the country. Sentenced to death and imprisoned in the north, he escaped last year.

A new generation “even more extreme”

In the months that followed, it appears increasingly in public while the government held him responsible for a growing number of attacks.

Seeking to take advantage of Sunni anti-government protests that have ignited Anbar province (west) since December, he even made a public appearance last March in Fallujah where filmed, seen reciting a poem.

The authorities have since put price on his head, offering $ 50,000 for his capture, but without success.

In May, the authorities accused him of being behind the kidnapping of 16 police officers on the road from Jordan to Iraq. Twelve of them were killed and four wounded.

Since the release of the latest video, Fahdaoui has probably become the most emblematic figure of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (EIIL), the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda.

“The terrorist who killed drivers (…) is now one of the most dangerous al-Qaeda figures,” according to an army general, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is part of a new generation, as time Zarqawi, but even more extreme,” he says.

Zarqawi, a Jordanian, known for his brutal tactics had ended up alienating many Sunni tribes in the region, and had even quarreled with senior leaders of Al Qaeda.

Before being killed by a U.S. drone in June 2006, he often appeared in videos online that showed in jihadist camps, or pulling the air automatic rifle.

After his death and the decision of the U.S. forces to recruit auxiliaries among Sunni tribes in the region, security in the province had gradually improved.

But the discontent of tribes vis-à-vis the government, the proximity of jihadists in Syria and the resumption of attacks in Iraq have renewed insecurity.

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