Iraqi Group Threatens to Kill Al-Zarqawi
Talk about burying your lede: Six paragraphs into a story about yet another car bombing in Iraq, AP reports,
Also Tuesday, a group of armed, masked Iraqi men threatened to kill Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi if he did not immediately leave the country, accusing him of killing innocent Iraqis and defiling the Muslim religion. The threats revealed the deep anger many Iraqis feel toward foreign fighters, whom many consider as illegitimate a presence here as the 160,000 troops of the U.S.-led coalition.
In a videotape sent to the al-Arabiya television station, a group calling itself the “Salvation Movement,” questioned how al-Zarqawi could use Islam to justify the killing of innocents, the targeting of government officials and the kidnapping and beheading of foreigners. “He must leave Iraq immediately, he and his followers and everyone who gives shelter to him and his criminal actions,” said a man on the video.
The video marked the first time an Iraqi group made such a public threat against al-Zarqawi. It was issued a day after U.S.-led coalition forces, who have been targeting al-Zarqawi, launched an airstrike in the restive city of Fallujah on a suspected safe house used by his followers. The attack killed 15 people, witnesses said. In the video, three men, their faces covered with Arab headscarves, were flanked by rocket propelled grenades and an Iraqi flag. The man speaking had a clear Iraqi accent. “We swear to Allah that we have started preparing … to capture him and his allies or kill them and present them as gift to our people.” the man said. “This is the last warning. If you don’t stop, we will do to you what the coalition forces have failed to do.”
Al-Zarqawi, said to be connected to al-Qaida, is believed to be behind a series of coordinated attacks on police and security forces that killed 100 people only days before U.S. forces handed over power to an Iraqi interim government. His followers have also claimed responsibility for the beheading of American businessman Nicholas Berg and South Korean translator Kim Sun-il.
That Iraqis are getting tired of terrorists and foreign “insurgents” running around their country drawing the ire of the West would seem to be worthy of headline attention.
Hat tip: Memeorandum
UPDATE: Fox News has a version of the AP report with the headline Iraqi Group Threatens to Kill Zarqawi and the relevant material at the top of the story.