Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Peugeot at Paris Motor Show: "We are recovering"

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Syrian student risks her life to film IS group stronghold

Read more

FOCUS

The Iraqi TV show where victims confront terrorists

Read more

WEB NEWS

Hong Kong protesters use Firechat to evade censorship

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

Middle east

Top al Qaeda leader in Iraq denies he was captured

Latest update : 2009-05-12

In a yet-unverified audio message, Al Qaeda's top leader in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, has denied he was captured by Iraqi forces. Iraqi authorities claimed they had arrested Baghdadi in April.

AFP - Al-Qaeda's top leader in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, has denied in an audio message that he has been captured by the Iraqi authorities, a US group monitoring Islamist websites said on Tuesday.
  
"Everyone was shocked by the lie promoted by the (Iraqi authorities) in which they claim again that they have arrested me," SITE Intelligence Group quoted Baghdadi as saying in the message issued Tuesday on jihadist websites.
  
The authenticity of the audio message could not immediately be verified.
  
Iraqi authorities said in April they had captured Baghdadi, identified as one of the top leaders of the local wing of Al-Qaeda blamed for a wave of violence across the nation.
  
Iraqi security forces had released what they said was the first known picture of Baghdadi, showing a middle-aged man with dark skin and a close-cropped beard and moustache wearing a black shirt.
  
But Baghdadi said in the audio message that the images of the arrested man shown by the Iraqi authorities were for a "man that they have tortured... whom we do not know," SITE said.
  
The monitoring group had earlier Tuesday quoted the Islamic State of Iraq, the Al-Qaeda-linked group which Baghdadi heads, as also denying he had been captured.
  
It said Baghdadi was "fine" and the man, said to be Baghdadi whose image was broadcast on Iraqi channels, was unknown to them.
  
"All that has been shown is not more than a play," said the statement, the authenticity which could not immediately be verified.
  
The Al-Qaeda leader has been reported captured or killed several times in the past.
  
In July 2007 a US military spokesman said Baghdadi was a fictional character designed to put an Iraqi face on a terror group led by foreigners and that the voice on his audiotapes was that of an actor.
  
The Islamic State of Iraq is a self-styled umbrella organisation for Al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgent groups fighting US and Iraqi forces that has pledged loyalty to Osama bin Laden.
  
At the height of Iraq's sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007, Al-Qaeda and other Sunni militant groups killed thousands of civilians when they bombed markets and mosques crowded with Shiite civilians.

Date created : 2009-05-12

COMMENT(S)