Baghdad, 27 June (AKI) - The right hand man of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is thought to have died in the same US aid raid, on the town of al-Qaim near the Syrian border, in which the wanted Saudi Abdullah Rushud lost his life. Abu al-Ghadiya al-Suri’s death was reported by the Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, which cited a source close to al-Qaeda as confirming that al-Suri was killed several days ago, around the time Rushud’s death was announced in a statement attributed to al-Zarqawi.
In an interview with Al-Hayat, Islamic terrorism expert Marwan Shahada, said only Rushud’s death was announced by al-Qaeda in Iraq so as not to weaken the morale of its fighters. Al-Suri’s links to al-Zarqawi date back to when they trained together in the camps of Herat in western Afghanistan. Shahada believes the death of the two senior al-Qaeda figures is proof that the US forces have been very successful in their fight against al-Qaeda.
Abu al-Ghadiya al-Suri is considered one of the leading members of the Jund al-Sham organisation, founded with al-Zarqawi in 1999 in Herat. The two of them moved, first to Iran and then to Iraq, where he also helped found the Tawhid and Jihad group before joining al-Qaeda and swearing loyalty to Osama bin Laden. He is considered the brains behind al-Zarqawi’s group and the mediator between the Jordanian and Syrian Islamic groups. His name is among the defendents listed in a trial for an attack against the headquarters of the Jordanian secret services in the capital Amman.
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