Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Triangle of Death 3

This story from CNN links to Zarqawi's despairing accusation of Muslim scholars for having 'abandoned' the Jihad in Afghanistan and Iraq to the United States. He seems to be alleging that he has been thrown to the wolves. This story was reported by several readers in the Comments section of the Triangle of Death 2.

"Instead of implementing God's orders, you chose your safety and preferred your money and sons," said the voice, which could not be independently confirmed as al-Zarqawi's. "You left the mujahedeen facing the strongest power in the world." The message was posted on Islamist Web sites. "Are not your hearts shaken by the scenes of your brothers being surrounded and hurt by your enemy?"

The same text was included or perhaps was the same source as Zarqawi's denunciation of an Arab Cairo conference which failed to condemn the coming January elections in Iraq. Zarqawi said:

"We are committed to intensifying armed attacks against coalition forces and their spies and agents... in response to the Sharm al-Shaikh conference - a sordid and suspect farce," said Wednesday's statement signed by groups including the al-Qaida Group in the Land of Two Rivers (Iraq). ...

It also accused Egyptian President Husni Mubarak of wanting to use "plotters and mediators" at the forum for US benefit. "Numerous Arab regimes neighbouring Iraq, following the lead of Mubarak's regime... took part, along with the puppet power [Iraqi interim government], in the massacre of Iraqis, the destruction of their property, as well as the training and arming of [Iraqi] policemen and national guardsmen," the statement said.

"Oh scholars of the nation... you have betrayed us in the darkest circumstances. You have delivered us to our enemy... you have left the mujahidin to confront [alone] the greatest world power," said the voice attributed to al-Zarqawi, who has a $25 million US bounty on his head. "Until when will you abandon the nation to the tyrants of the east and of the west, who are inflicting the worst suffering, cutting the throats of the mujahidin, the best children of the nation, and taking its riches?" said the recording.

Then Zarqawi unequivocally takes the side of the Ba'ath Party.

Al-Zarqawi's group said it backs the call of Saddam Hussein's Baath party, which issued a previous statement calling for action against US-led forces in Iraq. The signatories said they signed "the statement written by the Iraqi Baath party, not because we support the party or Saddam, but because it expresses the demands of resistance groups in Iraq".

In one of the strangest twists, the Jordanian authorities arrested several of Zarqawi's relatives including his brother-in-law and nephew.

The tape surfaced as Jordanian security forces detained the husband of al-Zarqawi's sister in Amman. Relatives of Salih Ilhami told Aljazeera that the authorities arrested him after storming his home on Tuesday night. The authorities also detained al-Zarqawi's nephew. Sources from Ilhamy's family added that al-Zarqawi's first wife and his sons left their home in al-Zarqa, near Amman, and dissappeared about three months ago.

A report from Jordan, which may be related, gives Zarqawi ten days to capitulate or else his money will be confiscated. From the context, it appears the Jordanians are holding some of his property in connection with an earlier Zarqawi attack mounted inside Jordan. The interesting tidbit is that Zarqawi's money is within reach of the US.

The Jordanian Security Court has given 10 days for the Jordanian fundamentalist leader, Abu Musab Zarqawi and three other men to turn themselves in for plotting attacks in Jordan. According to Jordanian papers publishing the Court's ultimatum, if Zarqawi and the three men, each of whom have a $25 million bounty on them from the United States, do not capitulate, the US administration will confiscate their property holdings.

Interestingly enough some of Yasser Arafat's $1.9 billion fortune has been traced to Canada. Arafat also appears to have invested in at least one gambling casino on the West Bank through an Austrian bank.

Quoting a Central Intelligence Agency report, it said yesterday the CIA had conducted inquiries after receiving information that a holding company of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation had invested $11.6 million in a small pharmaceutical company in the Canadian town of Belleville, Ontario. Format said investigators had "stepped on an anthill" when they uncovered the stake held by the Palestinian Commercial Service Corporation in Bioniche Life Sciences. They uncovered a whole network of PLO funds such as Chalcedony, Onyx, Evergreen, SilverHaze and Avmax International, the latter based on the Caribbean island Aruba.