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Al Qaeda's Leader in Iraq: Abu Hamza al Muhajir - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Al Qaeda in Iraq’s new leader is more violent than his predecessor, warned an Egyptian Islamist on Monday.

Following the death of Abu Musab al Zarqawi and five others after two 500-pound bombs were dropped in a US air raid on a safe house near the restive northern Iraqi city of Baquba on Wednesday, al Qaeda in the Land of Two Rivers appointed Abu Hamza al Muhajir (the immigrant) as its new leader.

An Islamist leader told Asharq al Awsat on Monday, on condition of anonymity, that Abu Hamza is renowned for his knowledge of Shariaa and was one of the founding Fathers of al Qaeda in Iraq.

For his part, Dr. Hani al Sibai, head of al Maqrizi Center in London, said Abu Musab’s successor was originally from a country neighboring Iraq, believed to be Saudi Arabia. He expected al Qaeda’s new leader to seek to prove himself as courageous as the Jordanian-born al Zarqawi, by carrying out an operation that would take the American military in Iraq by surprise.

“No one gets appointed to this position without having earned the group’s trust and gained fighting experience. Perhaps Abu Hamza had traveled to Afghanistan or Bosnia to fight, or he took up armed resistance after the US military invaded Iraq . He might have carried out a number of operations famous throughout the organization,” he said.

“No person would be appointed to head the organization or be its deputy unless they combine Shariaa knowledge and military experience.”

He also expected Abu Hamza’s to feature in an audio message to be broadcast on the internet.

Meanwhile, the Libyan Islamist Numan ibn Uthman told Asharq al Awsat he did not meet anyone with that name during his time fighting Soviet invaders in Afghanistan. Most probably, he added, al Muhajir is a Syrian who rose through the ranks of al Qaeda in Iraq, following the September 11 attacks.

Extremist websites affiliated to al Qaeda featured an article written by Abu Musab’s successor in 2004, entitled “Samri of this age”, in which he discussed the story of Samri and Moses.

Mohammed al Shafey

London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Al Qaeda in Iraq’s new leader is more violent than his predecessor, warned an Egyptian Islamist on Monday.

Following the death of Abu Musab al Zarqawi and five others after two 500-pound bombs were dropped in a US air raid on a safe house near the restive northern Iraqi city of Baquba on Wednesday, al Qaeda in the Land of Two Rivers appointed Abu Hamza al Muhajir (the immigrant) as its new leader.

An Islamist leader told Asharq al Awsat on Monday, on condition of anonymity, that Abu Hamza is renowned for his knowledge of Shariaa and was one of the founding Fathers of al Qaeda in Iraq.

For his part, Dr. Hani al Sibai, head of al Maqrizi Center in London, said Abu Musab’s successor was originally from a country neighboring Iraq, believed to be Saudi Arabia. He expected al Qaeda’s new leader to seek to prove himself as courageous as the Jordanian-born al Zarqawi, by carrying out an operation that would take the American military in Iraq by surprise.

“No one gets appointed to this position without having earned the group’s trust and gained fighting experience. Perhaps Abu Hamza had traveled to Afghanistan or Bosnia to fight, or he took up armed resistance after the US military invaded Iraq . He might have carried out a number of operations famous throughout the organization,” he said.

“No person would be appointed to head the organization or be its deputy unless they combine Shariaa knowledge and military experience.”

He also expected Abu Hamza’s to feature in an audio message to be broadcast on the internet.

Meanwhile, the Libyan Islamist Numan ibn Uthman told Asharq al Awsat he did not meet anyone with that name during his time fighting Soviet invaders in Afghanistan. Most probably, he added, al Muhajir is a Syrian who rose through the ranks of al Qaeda in Iraq, following the September 11 attacks.

Extremist websites affiliated to al Qaeda featured an article written by Abu Musab’s successor in 2004, entitled “Samri of this age”, in which he discussed the story of Samri and Moses.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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