Iraq Releases Tape of Purported Captured Al-Qaeda Leader Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi–
The captured Al-Qaeda leader says he took orders from former Saddam offiicials and from Al-Qaeda. He also said his group was funded by charity organizations in Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi has close ties to the Saddam regime.
Hmm. Maybe Iraq wasn’t the wrong war then?
Undated handout released April 28, 2009, shows Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. (Reuters)
Iraqi officials aired a videotape on Monday of a man accused of being an insurgent leader who said al Qaeda-linked militants took orders from Saddam Hussein’s Baath party and plotted to incite civil war.
In late April, Iraq heralded the capture of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State of Iraq, an al Qaeda-linked Sunni militant group.
Since then, the group, also known as ISI, has denied its leader was arrested and called the Iraqi authorities liars.
In the past, Iraq has announced it has killed or captured insurgent leaders only to have incorrectly identified them. The U.S. military has not said it believes the man is Baghdadi.
In the tape, aired on state television, the man identified as Baghdadi said he joined al Qaeda in 2005 and took on the al-Baghdadi sobriquet when he was chosen as head of ISI, an affiliate or umbrella group of al-Qaeda, in 2006.
The man said the group was funded by charity organizations in Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, through private donations and theft and extortion within Iraq.
He said orders came from militants and from former members of Saddam’s Baath party, which controlled Iraq until 2003 and is now banned by Iraqi law.
In response to the news that the Al-Qaeda leader was arrested by Iraqi forces, Al-Qaeda in Iraq released its own video. The Al-Qaeda “Lions of Tawheed” claim the news is false and that they do not even know who this man is who was arrested by Iraqi forces.