Chossudovsky: Who was Abu Musab al Zarqawi?


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Who was Abu Musab al Zarqawi?
By Michel Chossudovsky

June 8, 2006

Mythical figure and terror mastermind Abu Musab 
Al Zarqawi was killed in an air raid, according 
to a statement of the Iraqi government.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki announced at a 
press conference . "We have eliminated Zarqawi." 
The head of US-led forces in Iraq, General George 
Casey, said the strike against an "isolated safe 
house" took place at 1815 (1415 GMT) on 
Wednesday. (BBC, 7 June 2006)

    "Jordanian-born Zarqawi was said to have been in a meeting
     with associates at the time. Several other people were
     reported to have been killed in the raid. General Casey said
     Zarqawi's body was identified through fingerprints, facial
     recognition and known scars."  (Ibid)

Zarqawi has been upheld both in official 
statements and the media as head of  "the Sunni 
insurgency",  leader of "al-Qaeda in Iraq", 
allegedly responsible for the the killings of 
thousands of civilians.

Intelligence Asset

The evidence suggests, however, that Zarqawi was 
part of a Pentagon disinformation campaign 
launched in 2003, which was initially intended to 
justify the US led invasion of Iraq. This central 
role of Zarqawi as an instrument of war 
propaganda was recently confirmed by leaked 
military documents revealed by the Washington 

The Pentagon had set up a "Zarqawi program". 
Military documents confirm that the role of 
Zarqawi had been deliberately "magnified" with a 
view to galvanizing public support for the US-UK 
led "war on terrorism":

    "The Zarqawi campaign is discussed in several of the
     internal military documents. "Villainize Zarqawi/leverage
     xenophobia response," one U.S. military briefing from 2004
     stated. It listed three methods: "Media operations,"
     "Special Ops (626)" (a reference to Task Force 626, an elite
     U.S. military unit assigned primarily to hunt in Iraq for
     senior officials in Hussein's government) and "PSYOP," the
     U.S. military term for propaganda work..." (WP. 10 April

An internal document produced by U.S. military 
headquarters in Iraq, states that "the Zarqawi 
PSYOP program is the most successful information 
campaign to date." (WP, op cit). (For further 
details see: Who is behind "Al Qaeda in Iraq"? 
Pentagon acknowledges fabricating a "Zarqawi 
Legend" - by Michel Chossudovsky - 2006-04-18)

Is Zarqawi's  Death part of Pentagon PSYOP?

If indeed Zarqawi was fabricated to deliberately 
mislead public opinion, what are the implications 
of his death in the process of media 
disinformation? Is the killing of Zarqawi part of 
the Pentagon PSYOP program?

The Bush adminstration is already announcing "a 
post-Zarqawi era", suggesting that with the death 
of its presumed leader, the "insurgency" is in 
the process of being defeated. Zarqawi's death 
was an opportunity for the new government to 
"turn the tide", President Bush said.  "The 
ideology of terror has lost one of its most 
visible and aggressive leaders."

The killing of Zarqawi has occurred at a time 
when Bush's public support is at an all time low, 
as confirmed by the opinion polls. In a press 
conference at the White House, Bush underscored 
the role of Zarqawi. as "commnders of the 
terrorist movement in Iraq. He led a campaign of 
car bombings, assassinations and suicide attacks 
that has taken the lives of many American forces 
and thousands of innocent Iraqis. Osama bin Laden 
called this Jordanian terrorist the prince of Al 
Qaida in Iraq. He called on the terrorists around 
the world to listen to him and obey him."

"Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man 
will never murder again." suggesting that the US 
has from now on the upper hand in Iraq. 
"Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to Al Qaida. 
It's a victory in the global war on terror, and 
it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to 
turn the tide of this struggle."

Zarqawi's death has also served as a convenient 
coverup of the extensive war crimes committed by 
coalition forces in Iraq.  The news coverage 
suggests that Zarqawi rather than coaltion forces 
are responsible for countless atrocities and 
civilian deaths. In the words of Don Rumsfeld, 
the man who led the criminal invasion and 
occupation of Iraq:  "I think arguably, over the 
last several years no single person on this 
planet has had the blood of more innocent man, 
women and children on his hands than Zarqawi."

Historical Background: Who was Musab Abu al Zarqawi

The following text first publish in June 2004, 
provides details on the origin of the Zarqawi 
Legend and how this mythical figure was used by 
Us intelligence to justify the invasion and 
occupation of Iraq.

Who is Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi?
by Michel Chossudovsky
June 11, 2004

     The US intelligence apparatus has created its own terrorist
     organizations. And at the same time, it creates its own
     terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations
     which it has itself created. In turn, it has developed a
     cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program "to go
     after" these terrorist organizations.

     Counterterrorism and war propaganda  are intertwined. The
     propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news
     chain. The terror warnings must appear to be "genuine". The
     objective is to present the terror groups as "enemies of

     The underlying objective is to galvanize public opinion in
     support of America's war agenda.

     The "war on terrorism" requires a humanitarian mandate. The
     war on terrorism is presented as a "Just War", which is to
     be fought on moral grounds "to redress a wrong suffered."

     The Just War theory defines "good" and "evil." It concretely
     portrays and personifies the terrorist leaders as "evil

     Several prominent American intellectuals and antiwar
     activists, who stand firmly opposed to the Bush
     administration, are nonetheless supporters of the Just War
     theory: "We are against war in all its forms but we support
     the campaign against international terrorism."

     To reach its foreign policy objectives, the images of
     terrorism must remain vivid in the minds of the citizens,
     who are constantly reminded of the terrorist threat.

     The propaganda campaign presents the portraits of the
     leaders behind the terror network. In other words, at the
     level of what constitutes an  "advertising"  campaign, "it
     gives a face to terror." The "war on terrorism" rests on the
     creation of one or more evil bogeymen, the terror leaders,
     Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, et al, whose names
     and photos are presented ad nauseam in daily news reports.

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi is presented to World public 
opinion, as the upcoming terrorist mastermind, 
overshadowing "Enemy Number One",  Osama bin 
Laden. The U.S. State Department has increased 
the reward for his arrest from $10 million to $25 
million, which puts his "market value" at par 
with that of Osama. Ironically, Al Zarqawi is not 
on the FBI most wanted fugitives list. 

Al Zarqawi's Links to Al Qaeda

Al Zarqawi is often described as an "Osama 
associate", the bogeyman, allegedly responsible 
for numerous terrorist attacks in several 
countries.  In other reports, often emanating 
from the same sources, it is stated that he has 
no links to Al Qaeda and operates quite 
independently. He is often presented as an 
individual who is challenging the leadership of 
bin Laden.

His name crops up on numerous occasions in press 
reports and official statements. Since early 
2004, he is in the news almost on a daily basis.

Osama belongs to the powerful bin Laden family, 
which historically had business ties to the 
Bushes and prominent members of the Texas oil 
establishment. Bin Laden was recruited by the CIA 
during the Soviet-Afghan war and fought as a 
Mujahideen. In other words, there is a 
longstanding documented history of bin Laden-CIA 
and bin Laden-Bush family links, which are an 
obvious source of embarrassment to the US 

In contrast to bin Laden, Al-Zarqawi has no 
family history. He comes from an impoverished 
Palestinian family in Jordan. His parents are 
dead. He emerges out of the blue.

He is described by CNN as "a lone wolf" who is 
said to act quite independently of the Al Qaeda 
network. Yet surprisingly, this lone wolf is 
present in several countries, in Iraq, which is 
now his base, but also in Western Europe. He is 
also suspected of preparing  a terrorist attack 
on American soil.

He seems to be in several places at the same 
time. He is described as "the chief U.S. enemy", 
"a master of disguise and bogus identification 
papers". We are led to believe that this "lone 
wolf"  manages to outwit the most astute US 
intelligence operatives.

According to The Weekly Standard --which is known 
to have a close relationship to the Neocons in 
the Bush administration:

"Abu Musab al Zarqawi is hot right now. He 
masterminded not only Berg's murder but also the 
Madrid carnage on March 11, the bombardment of 
Shia worshippers in Iraq the same month, and the 
April 24 suicide attack on the port of Basra. But 
he is far from a newcomer to slaughter. Well 
before 9/11, he had already concocted a plot to 
kill Israeli and American tourists in Jordan. His 
label is on terrorist groups and attacks on four 
continents."  (Weekly Standard, 24 May 2004)

Al-Zarqawi's profile "is mounting a challenge to 
bin Laden's leadership of the global jihad."

In Iraq, he is said to be determined to "ignite a 
civil war between Sunnis and Shiites". But is 
that not precisely what US intelligence is aiming 
at ( "divide and rule") as confirmed by several 
analysts of the US led war? Pitting one group 
against the other with a view to weakening the 
resistance movement. (See Michel Collon, 
, See also

The CIA, with its $30 billion plus budget, pleads 
ignorance: they say they know nothing about him, 
they have a photograph, but, according to the 
Weekly Standard (24 May 2004), they apparently do 
not know his weight or height.

There is an aura of mystery surrounding this 
individual which is part of the propaganda ploy. 
Zarqawi is described as "so secretive even some 
operatives who work with him do not know his 

Consistent Pattern

What is the role of this new mastermind in the 
Pentagon's disinformation campaign, in which CNN 
seems to be playing a central role?

In previous propaganda ploys, the CIA hired PR 
firms to organize core disinformation campaigns, 
including the Rendon Group. The latter worked 
closely with its British partner Hill and 
Knowlton, which was responsible for the 1990 
Kuwaiti incubator media scam, where Kuwaiti 
babies were allegedly removed from incubators in 
a totally fabricated news story, which was then 
used to get Congressional approval for the 1991 
Gulf War.

What is the pattern? Almost immediately in the 
wake of a terrorist event or warning, CNN 
announces (in substance): we think this 
mysterious individual Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi is 
behind it, invariably without supporting evidence 
and prior to the conduct of an investigation by 
the relevant police and intelligence authorities.

In some cases, upon the immediate occurrence of 
the terrorist event, there is an initial report 
which mentions Al-Zarqawi as the possible 
mastermind. The report will often say (in 
substance):  yes we think he did it, but it is 
not yet confirmed and there is some doubt on the 
identity of those behind the attack. One or two 
days later, CNN may come up with a definitive 
statement, quoting official police, military 
and/or intelligence sources.

Often the CNN report is based on information 
published on an Islamic website or a mysterious 
Video or Audio tape. The authenticity of the 
website and/or the tapes is not the object of 
discussion or detailed investigation.

Bear in mind that the news reports never mention 
that Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA and that 
Al Zarqawi had been recruited to fight in the 
Soviet-Afghan war (This is in fact confirmed by 
Sec. Colin Powell in his presentation to the UN 
Security Council on 5 February 2003) (see details 
below). Both Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab 
Al-Zarqawi are creations of the US intelligence 
apparatus. The recruitment of foreign fighters 
was under the auspices of the CIA.

The press usually present the terrorist warnings 
emanating from the CIA as genuine, without 
acknowledging the fact that US intelligence, has 
provided covert support to the Islamic militant 
network consistently for more than 20 years.

Amply documented, the training camps in 
Afghanistan established during the Reagan 
Administration had been set up with the support 
of the CIA. In fact, several members of the 
current Bush administration including Richard 
Armitage and Colin Powell were directly involved 
in channeling support to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, 
where bin Laden and Al Zarqawi received 
specialized training. (See Michel Chossudovsky, 

History of Al Zarqawi

The first time Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's name is 
mentioned was in relation to the thwarted attack 
on the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman, Jordan, 
during the millennium celebrations (December 
1999). According to press reports, he had 
previously gone under another name: Ahmed Fadil 
Al-Khalayleh, (apparently among other aliases).

According to the New York Times, Al Zarqawi fled 
Afghanistan to Iran in late 2001, following the 
entry of US troops. Official US reports suggest 
that he was protected at the highest levels of 
the Tehran government.

     "United States intelligence officials say they are
     increasingly concerned by the mounting evidence of Tehran's
     renewed interest in terrorism [and support to Al Zarqawi],
     including covert surveillance by Iranian agents of possible
     American targets abroad. American officials said Iran
     appeared to view terrorism as deterrent against possible
     attack by the United States.

Since the surprise election of reformer Mohammad 
Khatami as president of Iran in 1997 and his wide 
public support, Washington has been counting on a 
new moderate political majority to emerge. But 
the hard-line faction has maintained its grip on 
Iran's security apparatus, frustrating American 
efforts to ease tensions with Tehran.

Now, Iranian actions to destabilize the new 
interim government in Afghanistan, its 
willingness to assist Al Qaeda members and its 
fueling of the Palestinian uprising are prompting 
a reassessment in Washington, officials say." 
(NYT, 24 March 2002)

In 2002, his presence in Tehran, allegedly 
"collaborating with hardliners" in the Iranian 
military and intelligence apparatus, is part of 
an evolving disinformation campaign which 
consists in presenting Iran as a sponsor of the 
"Islamic terror network"

In February 2002, he was allegedly involved in 
planning terror attacks inside Israel.

Colin Powell's Address to the UN Security Council

In the months leading up to the war on Iraq, Al 
Zarqawi's name reemerges, this time almost on 
daily basis, with reports focusing on his 
sinister relationship to Saddam Hussein.

A major turning point in the propaganda campaign 
occurs on February 5, 2003. Al-Zarqawi was in the 
spot light following Colin Powell's flopped WMD 
report to the UN Security Council. Powell's 
speech presented "documentation" on the ties 
between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, while 
focusing on the central role of Al-Zarqawi: 
(emphasis added):

     Our concern is not just about these illicit weapons; it's
     the way that these illicit weapons can be connected to
     terrorists and terrorist organizations...

     But what I want to bring to your attention today is the
     potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al
     Qaeda terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic
     terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq
     today harbors a deadly terrorist network, headed by Abu
     Musaab al-Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama
     bin Laden and his Al Qaeda lieutenants.

     Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan
     War more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in
     2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp. One of his
     specialties and one of the specialties of this camp is

     When our coalition ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network
     helped establish another poison and explosive training
     center camp, and this camp is located in Northeastern Iraq.
     You see a picture of this camp. Graphic, above. [there were
     no WMDS at this camp according to ABC report, see below]

     The network is teaching its operative how to produce ricin
     and other poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less
     than a pinch -- imagine a pinch of salt -- less than a pinch
     of ricin, eating just this amount in your food would cause
     shock, followed by circulatory failure. Death comes within
     72 hours and there is no antidote. There is no cure. It is

     Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants
     operating in northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein's
     controlled Iraq, but Baghdad has an agent in the most senior
     levels of the radical organization Ansar al-Islam, that
     controls this corner of Iraq. In 2000, this agent offered Al
     Qaeda safe haven in the region. After we swept Al Qaeda from
     Afghanistan, some of its members accepted this safe haven.
     They remain there today.


     We know these affiliates are connected to Zarqawi because
     they remain, even today, in regular contact with his direct
     subordinates, including the poison cell plotters. And they
     are involved in moving more than money and materiel. Last
     year, two suspected Al Qaeda operatives were arrested
     crossing from Iraq into Saudi Arabia. They were linked to
     associates of the Baghdad cell, and one of them received
     training in Afghanistan on how to use cyanide.

     From his terrorist network in Iraq, Zarqawi can direct his
     network in the Middle East and beyond. [Note he is present
     in several countries at the same time]


     According to detainees, Abu Atiya, who graduated from
     Zarqawi's terrorist camp in Afghanistan, tasked at least
     nine North African extremists in 2001 to travel to Europe to
     conduct poison and explosive attacks. Since last year,
     members of this network have been apprehended in France,
     Britain, Spain and Italy. By our last count, 116 operatives
     connected to this global web have been arrested. The chart
     you are seeing shows the network in Europe.

     We know about this European network, and we know about its
     links to Zarqawi, because the detainee who provided the
     information about the targets also provided the names of
     members of the network.


     We also know that Zarqawi's colleagues have been active in
     the Pankisi Gorge, Georgia, and in Chechnya, Russia. The
     plotting to which they are linked is not mere chatter.
     Members of Zarqawi's network say their goal was to kill
     Russians with toxins.

     We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring Zarqawi and his
     subordinates. This understanding builds on decades-long
     experience with respect to ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.


     As I said at the outset, none of this should come as a
     surprise to any of us. Terrorism has been a tool used by
     Saddam for decades. Saddam was a supporter of terrorism long
     before these terrorist networks had a name, and this support
     continues. The nexus of poisons and terror is new; the nexus
     of Iraq and terror is old. The combination is lethal.

     With this track record, Iraqi denials of supporting
     terrorism take their place alongside the other Iraqi denials
     of weapons of mass destruction. It is all a web of lies.
     When we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for
     regional domination, hides weapons of mass destruction, and
     provides haven and active support for terrorists, we are not
     confronting the past, we are confronting the present. And
     unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening

US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN 
Security Council, Excerpts, 5 February 2003) The 
statement of Secretary Powell regarding 
Al-Zarqawi consisted in linking the secular 
Baathist regime to the "Islamic terror network," 
with a view to justifying the invasion and 
occupation of Iraq.

The Alleged Al-Zarqawi Sponsored Chemical and Biological Attacks

Powell's UN statement with regard to Al Zarqawi 
rested on the existence of a chemical-biological 
weapons plant in Northern Iraq producing ricin, 
sarin and other biological weapons, allegedly to 
be used in terror attacks on the US and Western 

With reference to the North Iraqi facility where 
the ricin was allegedly produced, The London 
Observer's correspondent in Northern Iraq (9 
February 2003) blatantly refutes Colin Powell's 

     " There is no sign of chemical weapons anywhere - only the
     smell of paraffin and vegetable butter used for cooking. In
     the kitchen, I discovered some chopped up tomatoes but not
     much else. The cook had left his Kalashnikov propped neatly
     against the wall. Ansar al-Islam - the Islamic group that
     uses the compound identified as a military HQ by Powell -
     yesterday invited me and several other foreign journalists
     into their territory for the first time. 'We are just a
     group of Muslims trying to do our duty,' Mohammad Hasan,
     spokes-man for Ansar al-Islam, explained. 'We don't have any
     drugs for our fighters. We don't even have any aspirin. How
     can we produce any chemicals or weapons of mass

Barely a few weeks later, at the height of the 
military campaign, US Special Forces, together 
with their "embedded" journalists, entered the 
alleged chemical biological weapons facility in 
Northern Iraq:

     "What they found was a camp devastated by cruise missile
     strikes during the first days of the war. A specialized
     biochemical team scoured the rubble for samples. They wore
     protective masks as they entered a building they suspected
     was a weapons lab. Inside they found mortar shells, medical
     supplies, and grim prison cells, but no immediate proof of
     chemical or biological agents. For this unit, such evidence
     would have been a so-called smoking gun, proof that it has
     banned weapons. But instead, this was a disappointing day
     for these troops on the front line of the hunt for weapons
     of mass destruction here. Jim Sciutto, ABC News, with US
     Special Forces in Northern Iraq " (ABC News, 29 March 2003)

The Ricin Threat

On February 8th 2003, three days after Colin 
Powell's UN speech, the ricin threat remerges 
this time in the US. Al Zaqwari was said to be 
responsible for "the suspicious white powder 
found in a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader 
Bill Frist which contained the [same] deadly 
poison ricin."

In a CIA report which was apparently "leaked" to 
Newsweek, a group of CIA analysts predicted that 
there was

     "a 59 percent probability that an attack on the U.S.
     homeland involving WMD would occur before 31 March 2003"...
     It all seems so precise and frightening: a better than 90
     percent chance that Saddam will succeed in hitting America
     with a weapon spewing radiation, germs or poison. But it is
     important to remember that the odds are determined by
     averaging a bunch of guesses, informed perhaps, but from
     experts whose careers can only be ruined by underestimating
     the threat." (Newsweek, 24 February 2003,
     terror-alert-assumptions-hints.txt )

The picture of Al Zarqawi, the mastermind is 
featured prominently in the Newsweek feature 

In the National Review (February 18, 2003), Al 
Zarqawi was described as Al Qaeda's "chief 
biochemical engineer":

     "It is widely known [from where, what evidence] that
     Zarqawi, al Qaeda's chief biochemical engineer, was at the
     safe house in Afghanistan where traces of Ricin and other
     poisons were originally found. What is not widely known-but
     was briefly alluded to in Sec. Powell's U.N. address-is that
     starting in the mid-1990s, Iraq's embassy in Islamabad
     routinely played host to Saddam's biochemical scientists,
     some of whom interacted with al Qaeda operatives, including
     Zarqawi and his lab technicians, under the diplomatic cover
     of the Taliban embassy nearby to teach them the art of
     mixing poisons from home grown and readily available raw

Radioactive Dirty Bombs

There were rumors of attacks within the US also 
using ricin, sarin and other poisonous gases. In 
the immediate aftermath of Powell's speech, there 
was an orange code alert. Official statements 
also pointed to the dangers of a dirty 
radioactive bomb attack in the US.

Again Al Zarqawi was identified as the number one suspect.

The various ricin and dirty bomb terror alerts 
proved to be fabricated. A fabricated story 
emanating from the CIA on so-called 'radioactive 
dirty bombs' had been planted in the news chain 
(ABC News, 13 Feb 2003). A few days following his 
address to the UN, Sec. Powell warned that:

"it would be easy for terrorists to cook up 
radioactive 'dirty' bombs to explode inside the 
U.S. Š 'How likely it is, I can't say... But I 
think it is wise for us to at least let the 
American people know of this possibility.'"(ABC 
This Week quoted in Daily News (New York), 10 
Feb. 2003).

Meanwhile, network TV had warned that "American 
hotels, shopping malls or apartment buildings 
could be al Qaeda's targets as soon as next 
weekŠ". Following the announcement, tens of 
thousands of Americans rushed to purchase duct 
tape, plastic sheets and gas-masks.

It later transpired that the terrorist alert was 
fabricated by the CIA, in all likelihood in 
consultation with the State Department (ABC News, 
13 Feb. 2003). The FBI, for the first time had 
pointed its finger at the CIA. While tacitly 
acknowledging that the alert was a fake, Homeland 
Security Secretary Tom Ridge decided to maintain 
the 'Orange Code' alert:

"Despite the fabricated report, there are no 
plans to change the threat level. Officials said 
other intelligence has been validated and that 
the high level of precautions is fully 
warranted." ( ABC News, 13 Feb. 2003 ).

A few days later, in another failed propaganda 
initiative, a mysterious Osama bin Laden audio 
tape was presented by Sec. Colin Powell to the US 
Congress as 'evidence' that the Islamic 
terrorists "are making common cause with a brutal 
dictator". (US official quoted in The Toronto 
Star, 12 Feb. 2003). Curiously, the audio tape 
was in Colin Powell's possession prior to its 
broadcast by the Al Jazeera TV Network. (Ibid.)

Meanwhile, Al Zarqawi had been identified as the 
mastermind behind the (thwarted) ricin attacks in 
several European countries including Britain and 

In London, in January 2003, there was a ricin 
terror alert, which had apparently also been 
ordered by Al Zarqawi. The ricin had allegedly 
been discovered in a London apartment. It was to 
be used in a terror attack in the London subway.

British press reports, quoting official 
statements claimed that the terrorists had learnt 
to produce the ricin at the camp in Northern 
Iraq. Yet when US Special Forces in March 2003 
raided the camp in Northern Iraq, nothing 
resembling biological or chemical weapons was 
found (see ABC report quoted above).

It is worth mentioning, in this regard, that news 
stories on the chemical weapons plant in Northern 
Iraq, have continued to be churned out, despite 
the fact that US Forces said that it did not 
exist. In a recent story in the Washington Times:

Zarqawi stands as stark evidence of a link 
between Saddam Hussein's autocratic regime and 
bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network. Zarqawi, 38, 
operated a terrorist camp in northern Iraq that 
specialized in developing poisons and chemical 
weapons.(Washington Times, 8 June 2004)

The Spanish Connection

Meanwhile in Spain, Bush's coalition partner, 
Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had initiated his 
own disinformation campaign, no doubt in liaison 
with US officials.

Perfect timing! While Colin Powell was presenting 
the Al-Zarqawi dossier to the UN, on the very 
same day, February 5, 2003, Prime Minister Jose 
Maria Aznar was busy briefing the Spanish 
parliament on an alleged chemical terror attack 
in Spain.

According to Aznar, Al Zarqawi was apparently 
linked to a number of European  Islamic 
"collaborators" including Merouane Ben Ahmed, "an 
expert in chemistry and explosives who visited 
Barcelona" (reported in El Pais, February 6 2003).

Prime Minister Aznar's speech to the Chamber of 
Deputies (Camera de diputados) intimated that the 
16 alleged Al Qaeda suspects, who apparently were 
in possession of explosives and lethal chemicals, 
had been working hand in glove with Al 
Zarqawi.The information had been fabricated. The 
Spanish Ministry of Defense report confirmed that 
the "lethal chemicals" turned out to be "harmless 
and some were household detergent... " (quoted in 
Irish News, 27 February 2003, emphasis added):

A defence ministry lab outside Madrid tested the 
substances - a bag containing more than half a 
pound of powder and several bottles or containers 
with liquids or residues- for the easy-to-make 
biological poison ricin...The Spanish defence 
ministry, which carried out the tests, and the 
lab itself declined to comment " (Ibid)

The Link to Ansar al-Islam

Following Powell's February 2003 presentation to 
the UNSC, Al-Zarqawi immediately gained in public 
notoriety. Since early 2004, his name appears 
almost daily in CNN reports. All in all,  his 
name is linked to some 25 "terrorist attacks" in 
Iraq, not to mention numerous terrorist warnings, 
threats or alerts. Already before the war in 
Iraq, he was presented in media reports as an 
ally of Saddam Hussein.

The press reports, which quoted Colin Powell's 
UNSC 5 Feb 2003 speech, confirmed that Al Zarqawi 
was back in Iraq, working hand in glove with 
Ansar Al-Islam, which was held responsible for 
the attack on the UN in Baghdad. In August 2003, 
Zarqawi was identified, without supporting 
evidence, as having played a role in the attack 
on the UN, which led to the death of the UN head 
of mission and 24 other people. Bear in mind 
Ansar was also said to be behind the alleged 
ricin plant in Northern Iraq, which was confirmed 
to be a fake.

It is useful to recall that Ansar al-Islam, which 
constituted a pre-existing Islamist group, 
developed into a paramilitary organisation, only 
after the 9/11 attacks. Ironically, it was 
allowed to develop in a region of Iraq, which was 
already under US military control, namely Kurdish 
held Northern Iraq.

Ansar was largely involved in terrorist attacks 
directed against the secular institutions of the 
Kurdish regional governments. It was also 
involved in assassinations of members of the 
Kurdish PUK. And the US military and intelligence 
were present in the region.

In other words, prior to the war, Northern Iraq 
-which was in "the no fly zone"-- was already a 
US protectorate. According to one report  «Al 
Qaida affiliates coordinating the movement of 
people, money and supplies for Ansar al-Islam 
have been operating freely in the [regional] 
capital." (Midland Independent, 6 February 2003).

Responding to Colin Powell's February 2003 UN 
address, an Iraqi foreign ministry spokesman had 
stated at the time that:

  "the Iraqi government helped the [PUK] Kurdish 
leader Jalal Talabani against the Ansar al-Islam 
group. He [the spokesman] accused Ansar al-Islam 
of carrying out acts of sabotage inside 
IraqŠ[and] that the United States had turned down 
an Iraqi offer to cooperate on the issue of 
terrorism." (News Conference by 
Lieutenant-General Amir al-Sa'di, adviser at the 
Iraqi Presidency; Dr Sa'id al-Musawi, head of the 
Organizations' Department at the Iraqi Foreign 
Ministry; and Major-General Husam Muhammad Amin, 
head of the Iraqi National Monitoring 
Directorate. BBC Monitoring Service, 6 February 

The Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal

Was it a coincidence? At the very outset of the 
Abu Ghraib prison scandal, there were rumors of 
an Al Zarqawi terrorist attack on American Soil, 
in Jordan as well as in Iraq.

Al Zarqawi  identified by CNN as "the lone wolf" 
was, according to these reports, planning 
terrorist attacks simultaneously in several 
countries. Then there was the mysterious video on 
the Nicholas Berg execution.

The Attacks in Jordan

A mysterious tape released by CNN pointed to Al 
Zarqawi's plan to attack the Jordanian 
intelligence headquarters in an attack using 
chemical weapons which could have been more 
deadly than 9/11. Again the evidence is based on 
a mysterious tape.

CNN 27 APRIL 2004

     JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jordanian
     special forces raiding an apartment house in Amman in the
     hunt for an al Qaeda cell. Some of the suspects are killed,
     others arrested, ending what Jordanian intelligence says was
     a bold plan to use chemical weapons and truck bombs in their
     capital; targets including Jordanian intelligence
     headquarters, the prime minister's office and the U.S.
     embassy. The Jordanian government fears the death toll could
     have run into the thousands, more deadly even than 9/11.

     For the first time the alleged plotters were interviewed on
     videotape, aired on Jordanian TV. CNN obtained copies of the
     tapes from the Jordanians. This man revealing his orders
     came from a man named Azme Jayoussi, the cell's alleged

     HUSSEIN SHARIF (through translator): The aim of this
     operation was to strike Jordan and the Hashemite royal
     family, a war against the crusaders and infidels. Azme told
     me that this would be the first chemical suicide attack that
     al Qaeda would execute.

     VAUSE: Also appearing on the tape, Azme Jayoussi, who says
     his orders came from this man, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the
     same man the U.S. says is behind many of the violent attacks
     in Iraq.

     AZME JAYOUSSI, ACCUSED PLOTTER (through translator): I took
     advanced explosives course, poisons, high level, then I
     pledged allegiance to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to obey him
     without any questioning, to be on his side. After this
     Afghanistan fell. I met Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq.

     VAUSE: Al Jayoussi was only shown in profile. He had marks
     on his hand, neck and face. The Jordanians who taped the
     confessions say the suspect suffered the injuries during the
     arrest. CNN was not allowed access to any of those arrested.
     The Jordanian government says this plot is only the latest
     attempt by al Qaeda to destabilize this country.

     fighting this type of plans years now, and the security
     forces were able to confront them.

     VAUSE (on camera): The Jordanians say the alleged terrorist
     plot was just days away from execution. If successful,
     Jordan's King Abdullah told a U.S. newspaper it could have
     decapitated his government.

     John Vause, CNN, Amman, Jordan.

The press reports which followed the original CNN 
report, often quote CNN as the sole source for 
their information.

Al-Zarqawi's plans for Amman scale the heights of horror.

CNN quoted Jordanian authorities as saying that 
the attack involved a combination of 71 lethal 
chemicals, including blistering agents to cause 
third-degree burns, nerve gas and choking agents, 
which would have formed a lethal toxic cloud over 
a square mile of the capital, Amman. Many 
thousands would have died in what would have been 
al-Qaida's deadliest terrorist attack.

The Associated Press reported Monday that four of 
the men arrested said on Jordanian television 
that they had been recruited by al-Zarqawi to 
carry out "the first suicide attack to be 
launched by al-Qaida using chemicals ... striking 
at Jordan, its Hashemite (royal family) and 
launching war on the Crusaders and nonbelievers." 
One of the conspirators, Azmi al-Jayousi, said he 
received about $170,000 from al-Zarqawi to 
finance the plot and used part of it to buy 20 
tons of chemicals. Images of vans packed with 
chemicals and explosives were shown on 
television. (Charleston Post Courier, 28 April 

Alleged Al Zarqawi "Attack on America"

Two days later, following the alleged terrorist 
threat on Jordanian intelligence, the State 
Department announced that Al Zarqawi was planning 
an attack on America (29 April 2003, CNN Report).

Note that the rumours of an attack on America and 
the attack in Jordan took place virtually at the 
same time:

     The State Department today said the number of terrorists
     attacks around the world declined last year, but the
     government's annual report on terrorism includes a chilling
     warning about the year ahead.

     Kitty Pilgrim reports.


     KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The State
     Department says terrorists are planning an attack on U.S.
     soil. High on their anxiety list, terrorist Abu Musab

     representative of a very real and credible threat. His
     operatives are planning and attempting now to attack
     American targets, and we are after them with a vengeance.

Bear in mind that the Attack on America report, 
focusing on "We are after them with a vengeance", 
was published on day following the CBS 60 minutes 
program on torture at the Abu Ghraib prison. 
(Complete transcript at ).

The Nicholas Berg Video

Barely a couple of weeks later (11 May 2004), Al 
Zarqawi is reported as being the mastermind 
behind the execution of Nicholas Berg on May 11, 

Again perfect timing! The report coincided with 
calls by US Senators for Defense Sec Donald 
Rumsfeld to resign over the Abu Ghraib prison 
scandal. It occurs a few days after President 
Bush's "apology" for the Abu Ghraib prison 
"abuses" on May 6.

The Nicholas Berg video  served to create "a 
useful wave of indignation" which served to 
distract and soften up public opinion, following 
the release of the pictures of torture of Iraqi 
prisoners. (See the intelligence assumptions 
underlying Operation Northwoods, a secret Joint 
Chiefs of Staff plan to kill civilians in the 
Cuban community in Florida, and blame it on Fidel 
) .

CNN coverage of the Nicholas Berg execution was 
based on a mysterious report on an Islamic 
website, which CNN upholds as providing 
"evidence" of Al-Zarqawi's involvement:

     ENSOR: The Web site claims that the killing was done by Abu
     Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist whose al Qaeda
     affiliated group is held responsible by U.S. intelligence
     for a string of bombings in Iraq and for the killing of an
     American diplomat in Amman. CNN Arab linguists say, however,
     that the voice on the tape has the wrong accent. They do not
     believe it is Zarqawi. U.S. officials said the killers tried
     to take advantage of the prison abuse controversy to gain

     BROWN: So, the administration said today we'll track these
     people down. We will get them beyond, I guess, this belief
     that Zarqawi somehow was involved. Are there any clues out
     there that we heard about?

     ENSOR: This is going to be very, very difficult. They've
     been looking for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi for several years now.
     There's a large price on his head. He's been blowing up a
     lot of things in Iraq according to him and according to U.S.
     intelligence. They don't know where he is, so it's -- I
     don't think they have any clues right now, at least none
     that I know of -- Aaron.

A subsequent more definitive report by CNN was 
aired 2 days later on 13 May 2004

     The CIA confirms that Nicholas Berg's killer was Abu Musab
     al-Zarqawi; The CIA acknowledges sticking to strict rules in
     tough interrogations of top al Qaeda prisoners." (CNN)

BLITZER Because originally our own linguists here 
at CNN suspected that -- they listened to this 
audiotape and they didn't think the it sounded, 
the sounded like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. But now 
definitively, the experts at the CIA say it 
almost certainly is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi?

ENSOR: They say it almost certainly is. There's 
just a disagreement between the CNN linguists and 
the CIA linguists. The U.S. Government now 
believes that the person speaking on that tape 
and killing Nick Berg on that tape is the actual 
man, Abu Musab al- Zarqawi.

Did the US officials check the mysterious website or was it CNN?

The video footage published on the website was 
called «Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi shows killing of an 
American». " Then the CIA experts released a 
statement saying that Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was 
the man in the mask who beheaded the US citizen 
Nick Berg in front of a camera." (See 
). Yet several reports question the authenticity 
of the video. 

Al Zarqawi is Jordanian. Yet the man in the video 
"posing as Jordanian native Zarqawi does not 
speak the Jordanian dialect. Zarqawi has an 
artificial leg, but none of these murderers did. 
The man presented as Zarqawi had a yellow ring, 
presumably a golden one, which Muslim men are 
banned from wearing, especially so-called 
fundamentalists." (See Was Nick Berg killed by US 
intelligence? by Sirajin Sattayev,

Another report states that Zarqawi was dead.

Immediately when the issue of his artificial leg 
was mentioned in relation to the video, US 
officials revised their story, stating they were 
not sure whether he actually lost a leg:  "U.S. 
intelligence officials, who used to believe that 
Zarqawi had lost a leg in Afghanistan, recently 
revised that assessment, concluding that he still 
has both legs." (News and World Report, 24 May 

There were a number of other aspects of the 
video, which suggest that it was a fraud: there 
was no blood when Nicholas Berg was beheaded. The 
audio was not in synchrony with the video, 
indicating that the film might have been 

3/11 The Madrid 11 March 2004 Train Bombing

While the press dispatches provide no evidence of 
of Al Zarqawi's involvement in the Madrid 3/11 
bombing, several of the reports implied, without 
supporting evidence, that he was involved. 
According to the CIA, the Moroccan group which 
allegedly "supervised the bombings in Madrid, 
[were] acting as a link between al- Zarqawi and a 
cell of mostly Moroccan al-Qaeda members." (The 
Australian, 27 May 2004)

A CNN statement two days after the 3/11 Madrid 
bombing states that Al Zarqawi may be planning 
attacks on "soft targets" in Western Europe:

     LISOVICZ: And Jonathan, specifically, Abu Musaab al Zarqawi
     is someone you have described as al Qaeda 2.0, which is
     pretty scary.

     SCHANZER: Yes. Abu Musaab al Zarqawi is the man we caught;
     we intercepted his memo last month. U.S. intelligence
     officials found this memo. It indicated that he was trying
     to continue to carry out attacks against the United States.
     He was seeking help from the larger al Qaeda network and was
     seeking to foment internecine violence inside Iraq. This is
     a man dangerous; he's been linked to attacks in Riyadh,
     Istanbul and Morocco. This is essentially a freelancer. This
     is a lone wolf, someone that's acting alone in the name of
     al Qaeda.

     CAFFERTY: Where do we stand in your opinion on this war on
     terrorism? We have got this terrible situation in Madrid.
     We've got this fellow, Zarqawi, you are talking about, the
     lone Wolf that is active, some think inside Iraq. We have
     got terrorist attacks happening there. There is discussion
     all over Western Europe of fear of terrorism, possibly being
     about to increase there. Are we winning this war or are we
     losing it? What is your read?

     SCHANZER: I think we're winning it. We've certainly -- I
     mean counterterrorism at its core is just restricting the
     terrorist environment. So we've cut down on the amount of
     finances moving around in the terrorist world. We have
     arrested a number of key figures. So we are doing a good
     job.(CNN,13 March 2004)

For details on the Madrid bombing see, Madrid 
'blueprint': a dodgy document by Brendan O'Neill 

Extending the War on Terrorism

Are "we winning or loosing"  the war on 
terrorism.  These statements are used to justify 
enhanced military operations against this 
illusive individual, who is confronting US 
military might, all over the World. Al Zarqawi is 
used profusely in Bush's press conferences and 
speeches in an obvious public relations ploy.

You know, I hate to predict violence, but I just 
understand the nature of the killers. This guy, 
Zarqawi, an al Qaeda associate -- who was in 
Baghdad, by the way, prior to the removal of 
Saddam Hussein -- is still at large in Iraq. And 
as you might remember, part of his operational 
plan was to sow violence and discord amongst the 
various groups in Iraq by cold- blooded killing. 
And we need to help find Zarqawi so that the 
people of Iraq can have a more bright -- bright 
future. (Press Conference, 1 June 2004, emphasis 

And with a new interim Iraqi government, US and 
British troops would be in Iraq at "the request" 
of the interim government, in an agreement 
sanctioned by the UN. "The terrorists are still 
at large": The tasks of the so-called 
"multinational force" would include "preventing 
and deterring terrorism", namely going after Al 
Zarqawi, as a means to "establishing democracy" 
under G-8's "political and economic reform in the 
Middle East and North Africa."

Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at 
the University of Ottawa and Director of the 
Center for Research on Globalization, at His most recent book 
entitled: America's "War on Terrorism", Global 
Research, 2005, contains a detailed analysis of 
the role of Zarqawi in the Adminstration's 
disinformation campaign.

For details on Chossudovsky's book  America's "War on Terrorism", click here


  Selected References

Pentagon PSYOP: "Terror Mastermind" Abu Musab Al 
Zarqawi is "Incompetent" - by Michel Chossudovsky 
- 2006-05-15

Rumsfeld accuses bin Laden and Zarqawi of 
Manipulating the U.S. Media - 2006-04-20

Who is behind "Al Qaeda in Iraq"? Pentagon 
acknowledges fabricating a "Zarqawi Legend" - by 
Michel Chossudovsky - 2006-04-18

Did Al-Zarqawi Really Bomb Amman? - by Dr. Elias Akleh - 2005-11-15

Who profited from Amman bombings?- Israelis were 
evacuated hours before the attack - 2005-11-15

The Al-Zarqawi 11/9 Amman Bombings: More Holes in 
the Official Story - by Michel Chossudovsky - 

Zarqawi Black Op Hits Amman - by Kurt Nimmo - 2005-11-13

British Terrorism in Iraq - by Dr. Elias Akleh - 2005-09-30

Fabricating an Enemy: "Al Qaeda in Iraq". Who is 
Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi?: - by Michel Chossudovsky - 

Al Qaeda and the Iraqi Resistance Movement - by 
Michel Chossudovsky - 2005-09-18

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Syria: - by Kurt Nimmo - 2005-05-19

Zarqawi's Mysterious Pre-Election Audiotape - by 
Michel Chossudovsky - 2005-01-29

Who is Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi? - by Michel Chossudovsky - 2004-06-11


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article 
are the sole responsibility of the author and do 
not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for 
Research on Globalization.

© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2006
© Copyright 2005

Escaping the Matrix website
cyberjournal website  
subscribe cyberjournal list     mailto:•••@••.•••
Posting archives      
   cyberjournal forum 
   Achieving real democracy
   for readers of ETM 
   Community Empowerment
   Blogger made easy