Zarqawi’s Cell Phone Had Iraqi Officials’ Numbers

Some surprising information appeared on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s cell phone:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had the phone numbers of senior Iraqi officials stored in his cell phone, according to an Iraqi legislator. Waiel Abdul-Latif, a member of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s party, said Monday that authorities found the numbers after al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. air strike on June 7. Abdul-Latif did not give names of the officials. But he said they included ministry employees and members of parliament. He called for an investigation, saying Iraqis “cannot have one hand with the government and another with the terrorists.”

No joke. I suppose it’s conceivable that he had their numbers for some other reason than that he was collaborating with them; those innocent explanations elude me at the moment, however.

FILED UNDER: Intelligence, Terrorism, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Potential bridge partners?

  2. Come on James. He was obviously undermining the morale of the Iraqi government by making prank phone calls. Don’t you realize there is nothing so low that AQ won’t stoop to it? Just think of the frustration and hours of lost productivity as they start to run down the street to catch their running refrigerator.

  3. I just had this crazy vision of Zarqawi in a dark robe wearing a “Scary Movie” mask:

    “I can see you…”

    The vision is so funny that all rational thought has currently fled my mind. I’ll get back to you all later.

  4. From blogger Ron Franscell at

    So abu Musab al Zarqawi’s cell phone contained the telephone numbers of high-ranking Iraq government officials. What was he calling them about … bad trash pickup and late delivery of his newspaper?

    So, our own government is monitoring OUR phone calls, but the top terrorist scumbag in Iraq apparently can call bureaucrats and politicians — and maybe order pizza and beer — without ever being noticed. Did anybody think to monitor phone calls in Iraq … or might that have been too invasive?

  5. DC Loser says:

    All they had to do was look up “Al Zarqawi” in the Iraqi phone book.

  6. Michael says:

    Reagan had Gorbachev’s phone number too.

    The most obvious explanation is that those in power need to communicate that power to others in power, even if they are in opposition.

    From a security standpoint, I would doubt Zarqawi actually called those people from his personal cell phone. It was probably used more as an electronic “little black book”.

  7. Anderson says:

    Come on James. He was obviously undermining the morale of the Iraqi government by making prank phone calls.

    LOL, yetanotherjohn …

  8. Dale says:

    Zarqawi: Is your refrigerator running?

    Iraqi Pol: Yes it is.

    Zarqawi: You better go catch it!

  9. Anderson says:

    Actually, knowing Zarqawi, he probably botched most of the calls:


    ZARQAWI: All glory to Allah! I have Prince Albert in a can! He will be gloriously beheaded in 24 hours unless the following demands are–

    IRAQI MINISTER: [Click.]

    UNNAMED TERRORIST: No, no, it’s “do *you* have Prince Albert in a can?”

    ZARQAWI: A curse upon this infidel brand of humor!

  10. Cernig says:

    This comes from one of Allawi’s guys and is so far unconfirmed by anyone else?

    HUGE pinch of salt.

    Regards, Cernig

  11. sonic says:

    Amazing how little damage two 500lb bombs did, Zarqawi lived through the explosion and now it appears his cell-phone survived unscathed.

    You guys really need to have a chat with the manufacturers of your weapons, or stop being blind sided by every piece of half assed propaganda that drops in your lap.