Monday, June 12, 2006

Abu Hamza al-Muhajerin in Arabic means ‘Bull’s eye tattooed on forehead’
Terror group names al-Zarqawi's successor

CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida in Iraq said in a Web statement posted Monday that a militant named Abu Hamza al-Muhajer was the group's new leader. Al-Muhajer succeeds Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed Wednesday by a U.S. airstrike on his hideout northeast of Baghdad, Iraq.

The successor's name — a pseudonym, as most militants are known by — was not immediately known and did not appear to be on any U.S. lists of terrorists with rewards on their heads. The name al-Muhajer, Arabic for "immigrant," suggested he was not Iraqi.

The choice of a non-Iraqi "emir," or leader, would be significant, signaling that the group was maintaining a foreign Arab command. There were tensions between homegrown Iraqi insurgents and the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi over strategy, and U.S. and Iraqi officials sought to fuel the differences by painting al-Zarqawi as a foreigner killing Iraqis for his own purposes.

The selection could mean that the group will continue al-Zarqawi's efforts to launch a campaign of violence outside Iraq's borders…


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