Al-Masri on Video, and the Second Anbar Campaign
al Qaeda in Iraq's leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri car bomb instructional video found, Anbar tribes strike again at al Qaeda
The Iraqi government has aired segments of a recently uncovered video of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Masri is seen providing a lesson on building car bombs.
In the video, al-Masri, wearing a white T-shirt, is seen talking to the camera as he points out tin boxes and coils of wire and describes how to put together a vehicle bomb. At one point, a tanker truck is visible, and the feet of several other people are seen...."We prepare this vehicle as we did with other vehicles in the past," al-Masri says at one point... [al-Masri] had short hair, wore glasses and had a mustache but no beard.
The video was discovered during a raid in Yusifiyah. The town, which is just south of Baghdad, has been the scene of numerous raids on al Qaeda safe houses and pitched battles. The unedited version of Zarqawi's last video prior to his death at the hands of Task Force 145 was found in Yusifiyah. The find bodes well for the prospects for hunt for al-Masri,and the Iraqi government claims "we are closer to you than you can imagine - your days are numbered and you will face your fate very soon." .
The al-Masri video also helps to bolster the military's claim that Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (the traveler) and Abu Ayyub al-Masri (the Egyptian) are indeed one in the same. Al-Masri has not been positively identified in Iraq.
In Anbar province, the Anbar tribes that have pledged to hunt al Qaeda in Iraq claimed to have killed a senior al Qaeda leader, captured several others, and forced more to flee across the Syrian border. "The council... said that members of their tribes killed four Al-Qaeda members, including a prominent leader in the network known as Abu Shujae Al-Yamani, during an armed confrontation in Sankoura town in western Iraq," reports the Kuwaiti News Agency. "The council had declared earlier that two Al-Qaeda members were killed and six others were arrested and were handed over to the Iraqi authorities." There is no indication that the six other arrested include the five captured in Ramadi, which included three Yemenis. Abu Shujae Al-Yamani also appears to be a Yemeni.
The tribes are openly declaring their allegiance to the Iraqi government and going on record about hunting, killing and capturing al Qaeda leaders and foot soldiers.