US Arrests Senior Al Qaeda Leader Entering Iraq
Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi is one of Usama bin Laden’s top global deputies, personally chosen by bin Laden to monitor al Qaeda operations in Iraq. Al-Hadi was the former Internal Operations Chief for al Qaeda. He has been associated with numerous attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been known to facilitate communication between al Qaeda in Iraq and al Qaeda. Al-Hadi rose to the rank of Major in Saddam Hussein’s army before moving to Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet Union. He has a reputation for being a skilled, intelligent, and experienced commander and is an extremely well-respected al Qaeda leader. He has commanded numerous terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Al-Hadi is reportedly still in contact with Usama bin Laden.
The US says it has arrested a senior al-Qaeda operative on his way to Iraq to plan future attacks.
A Pentagon spokesman said Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi had links to militant leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He was heading to Iraq to take over al-Qaeda operations and plot attacks against targets in the West, the Pentagon said.
Reports said he was also accused of involvement in plots to assassinate Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the suspect was “one of al-Qaeda’s highest ranking and senior operatives at the time of his detention.
“He is associated with leaders of extremist groups allied with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and including the Taleban,” he added.