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


Abu Ayyub al-Masri.

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.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Wally Lind says:

    That all sound pretty positive. If the government has the backing of the Anbar tribes, they can concentrate on taming Al Sadr, and the other militias.

  • //
    Looks like the Iraqi government is pretty sure they have the beat on al Masri. Whiping him out would be great.

  • Al-Masri on Video, and the Second Anbar Campaign

    Courtesy of the Counterterrorism Blog:
    al-Qaeda in Iraq’s leader Abu Ayyaub 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 Ayyaub …

  • Marlin says:

    It would seem the al-Anbar tribes are quite serious about pursuing al-Qaeda this time. I was worried that it be an effort more for show than real results.
    Al-Qaida in Iraq is being pushed out of its strongholds in Anbar province after three days of fighting with Iraq’s fiercely independent tribes. A number of al-Qaida fighters have been killed and captured, including Saudis and Syrians.
    The clashes erupted after a new grouping calling itself the Anbar Rescue Council – which claims to represent a large number of Anbar tribes and sub-clans – said it intended to clear the province of the terrorist group. It also follows a meeting between tribal leaders and the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, last week in which they asked for government support and arms in their fight against al-Qaida.
    From Falluja, where the notoriously fractious Bou Eisa clan have turned against al-Qaida, to the city of Qaim, where it is the Bou Mahal who are pursuing them, they are being being pushed out of their old strongholds in the rural west.
    The tribes’ courtship by Iraq’s prime minister has been oiled by cash gifts and alleged salaries to some sheikhs of up to $5,000 (£2,650) a month. Tribal fighters have also asked for weapons.
    Guardian Unlimited: Iraqi tribes launch battle to drive al-Qaida out of troubled province


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