[Homestead] Another Black Hat gone in Iraq

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Wed Sep 22 13:29:07 EDT 2004

Al Sadr should have gone the same way.  Pointless to talk to religious 
ideologues.  Now for Al Zarqawi and Osama.

Spiritual Leader of Iraqi Militant Group Has Been Killed in U.S. 
Airstrike, According to Family

*By Jamal Halaby* Associated Press Writer
Published: Sep 22, 2004


AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - The spiritual leader of a militant group that 
claimed to have beheaded two American hostages in Iraq has been killed 
in a U.S. airstrike, and his Jordanian family is preparing a wake, a 
newspaper and Islamic clerics said Wednesday.

Sheik Abu Anas al-Shami, 35, was killed when a missile hit the car he 
was traveling in on Friday in the west Baghdad suburb of Abu-Ghraib, 
said the clerics, who have close ties to the family. They spoke on 
condition of anonymity.

Al-Shami was a close aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the 
militant group Tawhid and Jihad. The al-Qaida-linked group is blamed for 
some of the biggest attacks in Iraq, including the bombing of the U.N. 
headquarters last year, and the beheadings of foreign hostages - 
including two Americans this week.

Al-Zarqawi is believed to have personally decapitated the American 
hostage Eugene Armstrong on Monday.

Al-Shami, a Jordanian of Palestinian descent who was also known as Omar 
Yousef Jumah, was believed to be the voice on several audio tapes that 
Tawhid and Jihad released via the Internet. In one such tape in August, 
a speaker identified as al-Shami said the militants planned to kill 
Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, soldiers and police officers.

"We will not allow you to destroy our hopes in this blessed holy war, 
and we will not let you steal our bright tomorrow, which is now 
appearing on the horizon," the speaker said on the tape.

The independent Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad quoted al-Shami's family on 
Wednesday as confirming the death. It said the family was preparing a 
wake in the east Amman suburb where al-Shami lived before he went to 
Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion last year.

The pan-Arab satellite television Al-Jazeera reported al-Shami's death 
earlier in the week, quoting unidentified relatives. A Jordanian 
security official said he could not confirm the death.

The clerics close to the family recalled al-Shami as a calm, flexible 
person of moderate ideology. They were surprised to hear he had joined 
Tawhid and Jihad. When he left Jordan last year, he told friends he was 
going to Saudi Arabia.

They said al-Shami was a leading member of a small Salafiyah movement in 
Jordan. The movement advocates the peaceful introduction of strict 
Islamic law, such as veils for women and gender segregation.

Al-Shami studied Islamic theology in Saudi Arabia and lived in Kuwait 
until the Iraqi invasion of 1990, the clerics said. After further 
Islamic studies in Medina, Saudi Arabia, al-Shami returned to Jordan and 
preached Salafiyah theology at an Amman mosque.

In the late 1990s, the government closed down an Islamic center that 
al-Shami had established in Amman on grounds that it was propagating a 
fanatical interpretation of Islam, according to the clerics and Al-Ghad 

AP-ES-09-22-04 0802EDT

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