Repost: Al-Qaida in Iraq Names Official Successor to Zarqawi

In International politics, Iraq War, Terrorism, US Politics on June 12, 2006 at 11:15 am

Reposted from the conservative CounterTerrorism Blog:

Al-Qaida in Iraq Names Official Successor to Zarqawi

By Evan Kohlmann

This morning, the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) released an authentic statement on behalf of Al-Qaida in Iraq announcing that Al-Qaida's Shura Council had agreed upon a successor to the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: a shadowy figure named Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. Though the statement offered no further details at to Abu Hamza's background, his name "al-Muhajir" ("the Emigrant") would tend to suggest that he is of non-Iraqi origin.

Interestingly, there do not appear to be obvious references to Abu Hamza al-Muhajir in any of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's propaganda material from the last three years, and to the best of my knowledge, neither the Iraqi government nor the U.S. military has ever publicly named him as a wanted Al-Qaida member. Even the jihadi community that supports Al-Qaida was caught somewhat offguard by this announcement — many of them had simply assumed that Al-Qaida Deputy Commander Abu Abdelrahman al-Iraqi would take over in Zarqawi's absence.

The Rueters Canada reports, "Muhajir, little known in the West, was not among the names that al Qaeda experts had expected to succeed Zarqawi. Al Qaeda makes up about five percent of Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency but its suicide bombers have carried out the most spectacular attacks."  Rueters UK continues by quoting from al Queda in Iraq's release: "'Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Muhajir is a good brother, has a history in jihad and is knowledgeable. We ask God that he … continue what Sheikh Abu Musab [al-Zarqawi] began,' it said."

This leaves me confused: I thought this new leuitenant, Abu Abdel Rahman was already captured [check here and here for confirmation].  Thanks to Blogenlust for bringing this to our attention, and keeping these "unknown unknowns" responsibly unknown.

Just for enjoyment purposes:

The Unknown
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Donald Rumsfeld, Department of Defense news briefing


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