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Zarqawi Wanes - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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I was not intrigued by the political reaction statements, whether Arab or international, towards the crime of the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq-al Hariri, as most of them were expected with regards to the detailed Lebanese positions, Arab complicated and diversified ones, and the clear French and American stands. One statement did make me ponder though.

Not by the international community, the Security Council, international public opinion, nor the masses of the Lebanese who have went out in a solemn grandiose funeral to pay farewell to Hariri and condemn his assassination in the terrorist manner it was carried out in the center of Beirut. The statement was rather pronounced by the Jordanian fundamentalist Abu Mussab Al Zarqawi who acquitted himself from the crime not after one or two days but after hours of the crime.

According to what Al Zarqawi stated in the web site of “The People of the Sunna (Prophet’s Way) and Jamma (Muslim Community) forum”: “The Jihadist organizations in the Levant (Greater Syria) have certain priorities that does not include exploding cars in the cities.” Yet, we know that Al Zarqawi is pre-occupied with detonating cars and killing the National Guard in Iraq. The man actually prioritizes his goals as he stated; the swiftness of condemnation of the crime is an evidence of disapproval as not even a hint of blessing is inferred.

However, what is noteworthy in al-Zarqawi’s statements, and this is the pivotal point, what he has declared when he said: “What has happened in Beirut and the following attempt by the executors to throw the blame on the Jihadists and Salafis in the Levant is merely a great false pretension.”

As for the story of the videotape that was shown by the Al-Jazeera satellite channel of Qatar, we know that as mentioned in Al-Sharq Awsat report of last Tuesday, several fundamentalist groups have expressed surprise at the quick delivery of the tape to Al-Jazeera. They have indicated that the tape was meant to distract and obscure to the effect of eluding the real identity of the killer. They have expressed astonishment as to how could the killer “Abu ‘Adas” go out in public with his bare face in the tape.

Thus, it is as if I could vividly imagine Al Zarqawi waning from the crime he has denied and from the statement aired on Qatari Al-Jazeera. Many I am sure have done the same after watching that videotape that justifies the assassination of Hariri through this black comedy in the moment while the blood of the assassinated victim did not dry up yet.

Many have surprisingly noted that Al-Jazeera kept time and again displaying the picture of Rafiq al-Hariri in various archival shots where he appears with Saudi leadership directly following the airing of statement by “Abu ‘Adas. “ The latter was seated in a scene with the backdrop of a black flag over which encrypted “The Group of Jihad and Support-Greater Syria.” The speaker was claiming his responsibility of the assassination under the pretension that al-Hariri was a Saudi agent.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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