Iraq: Syrian secret services tried to recruit al-Qaeda leader, claims operative
Baghdad, 7 Dec. (AKI) - Former al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (photo) was approached by Syrian intelligence services to collaborate with them before he was killed in Iraq, according to a former al-Qaeda operative.
"The late al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, rejected a collaboration offer advanced by Syrian secret services," said Shahada Jawhar, former head of terrorist training for al-Qaeda.
Jawhar revealed the collaboration offer and other details of the internal operations of al-Qaeda in Iraq, in an interview with TV network, al-Arabiya, to be telecast on Friday night.
"The secret services sent a mediator who met Zarqawi in 2006 outlining the possibility of obtaining any kind of help, but Zarqawi rejected the offer because he didn't want to fight the Americans for the political interests of Syria," he said.
Jawhar said Zarqawi wanted only to defend Jihad, while the Syrians wanted to put pressure on the Americans and avoid opening a new front in the war in their country.
During the broadcast, the former terrorist who goes by the nickname, Abu Omar, talks about how he left the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in Lebanon to join Zarqawi's men in Iraq with the intention of training guerillas.
He managed the guerilla training camp of Haditha, in the western province of al-Anbar, teaching terrorists how to use light weapons and explosives, and checking at the end of the course if they were able to fight the Americans.
"Before his death I met Zarqawi several times during which he confided in me about several attacks carried out in Baghdad and Haditha, including the kidnapping and murder of Iraqis accused of cooperating with the Americans," he said.
"The head of our Sharia commission had issued a fatwa that called for the death of anyone who had helped the Americans," he said.
Abu Omar, who now lives in the Nahr al-Bared camp, where he sells arms, disclosed how al-Qaeda's Iraqi cells functioned and the nature of conflicts that occurred with Sunni tribes, above all, the use of goods stolen during guerilla activities.
The former terrorist decided to reveal the secrets of al-Qaeda while he is awaiting a judgement from the Lebanese legal system for crimes he committed in the past.
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