The true identity of the leader of one of Iraq's biggest insurgent groups has been revealed by the Iraqi police chief of the city of Haditha in an interview with Al Arabiya news station. Col. Fareq al Je'eify said Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, was a former Iraqi army officer and his real name was Hamed Dawood al Zawy. He also showed the station pictures of al Zawy, whose group, the Islamic State in Iraq, includes al Qaeda in Iraq.
"There has been much talk about Abu Omar al Baghdadi; and following several intelligence inquiries, it transpired that Abu Omar al Baghdadi is Hamed Dawood Mohammed Khalil al Zawi. He was an officer in the security services and was dismissed from the army because of his extremism," the Iraqi police chief told al Arabiya.
The police chief explained that al Baghdadi's true identity was discovered after interrogations with a number of al Qaeda leaders who were arrested in Haditha. He said the information was passed on to the U.S. army.
Al Zawy currently moves between Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk and Iraqi police is pursuing him, according to al Je'eify, who added that they had several intelligence clues that could lead to the apprehension of al Zawy in the next few days.
The Islamic State of Iraq was announced on 15 October 2006 by a group of Sunni insurgent groups led by the Mujahideen Shurah Council and al Qaeda in Iraq is part of it. The leader of al Qaeda in Iraq is currently the War Minister. His predecessor, Abu Mus'ab al Zarqawi, had prepared the ground for the announcement of the Islamic State of Iraq in his solitary video release few months before his death in June 2006.
Champions of the Islamic State of Iraq claim that they did not want to repeat the mistake of the Afghan war veterans who fought each other after the flight of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan. The Islamic State of Iraq operates mainly in the governorates Baghdad, al Anbar, Salahuddine and Diyala. (read the article in Arabic>)