Insider 12/27/04: 'Bin Laden' Backs Al Zarqawi

A new audio statement, purportedly by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, supports Iraq's most wanted militant Abu Musaab al Zarqawi and calls him the leader of al Qaeda organization in Iraq. The man purported to be Bin Laden also calls on boycotting the upcoming elections in Iraq. This is bin Laden's second audio statement in less than two weeks.

This comes as the violence in Iraq continues. Top Shiite political leader Abdul Aziz al Hakim escaped a deadly suicide bombing in Baghdad Monday, which killed 15 people. Al Zarqawi had claimed responsibility for the assassination of al Hakim's elder brother top Shiite cleric Mohammed Bakr Al Hakim last year. In an Internet statement last week, al Zarqawi's group purportedly denied carrying out operations against Shiites, but attacks on Shiites are consistent with al Zarqawi's stated aim of fostering sectarian warfare in Iraq.

INVESTIGATIONS

'Bin Laden' Back Al Zarqawi

A new tape purportedly from Osama bin Laden backs Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, according to the Arabic al Jazeera TV. (AP)

Pakistan


Al Qaeda Prisoner 'Helped Investigators Track Down Suspects'

Al Qaeda's telecommunications engineer Mohammed Naeem Nur Khan, who was arrested this summer, provided information that helped intelligence services catch cells around the world, according to Sejeel Shahed aka Abu Ibrahim the former head of the fundamentalist group "Al Muhajerun" in Pakistan. In an interview with Asharq Al Awsat, Shahed, who was in prison with Nour Khan in Lahore, claims that the latter was the one who told them about the whereabouts of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani. He says Nour Khan also led the British authorities to a cell in Britain, resulting in the arrest of 13 men in London, including Babar Ahmed, a relative of Nour Khan. He also told officials about another relative of his living in NY called Jenid Babar, 29, who was later arrested. Shahed says Nour Khan was the only prisoner who was allowed to have a laptop and he was often taken by Pakistani intelligence officials for interrogations. He claims they later found out that he was telling the officials about what's going on inside the prison. Shahed was released from prison and is now in London. He denies having any relations with al Qaeda. (Asharq Al Awsat)

As Nuclear Secrets Emerge in Khan Inquiry, More Are Suspected

When experts from the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency came upon blueprints for a 10-kiloton atomic bomb in the files of the Libyan weapons program earlier this year, they found themselves caught between gravity and pettiness. (NY Times)

Pakistan Arrests Al Qaeda Suspects

Pakistani intelligence agents have arrested two Afghan men suspected of being members of the al Qaeda terrorist network, intelligence sources told CNN. (CNN)

Two Pakistan Army Men Convicted In Assassination Attempt On Musharraf

Pakistani military court has sentenced one soldier to death and another to 10 years' hard labour in jail for involvement in an assassination attempt on President Pervez Musharraf last year, a military spokesman told AFP. (AFP)

Guantanamo


Further Detainee Abuse Alleged

Guantanamo Prison Cited in FBI Memos. (Washington Post)

Kuwaiti Detainee at Guantanamo to Be Freed

U.S. authorities are releasing one of 11 Kuwaiti detainees held at a military detention center for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, raising questions about why others are not being freed. (AP)

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