Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Abu Omar al-Baghdadi Backgrounder

Thought I’d make it easier for new visitors to the blog clicking forward from this piece in tomorrow's New York Times on al-Baghdadi by gathering together all the relevant links. I’ve been hard on the reporting of the NYTimes on Iraq, but since this story by Campbell Robertson quotes me then all I can say is that it’s perfect.

The alleged ‘al-Baghdadi’ capture (in chronological order): here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

Why I think al-Baghdadi is the new designated caliph of Islam, here (published July 2008, PDF file).

Baghdadi’s speeches: His seventeenth speech, excerpts from which were first heard on Al-Jazeera on May 22, was only posted in full today on the Al-Faloja jihadist forum. It is titled 'The Aqsa [Mosque] Between the Falaciousness of the Christians and the Malice of the Jews'. The speech itself runs for about 30 minutes. It is directed primarily against the Pope's visit to the Middle East, and in it he calls President Barack Obama a "black slave who apostacized from Islam". He also mentions the fighting in the Swat Valley.

First speech: December 22, 2006

Second speech: February 2, 2007

Third speech: March 14, 2007

Fourth speech: April 16, 2007

Fifth speech: July 9, 2007

Sixth speech: September 15, 2007

Seventh speech: (don’t have the date)

Eighth speech: December 28, 2007

Ninth speech: February 14, 2008

Tenth speech: April 13, 2008

Eleventh speech: September 9, 2008

Twelfth speech: September 24, 2008

Thirteenth speech: November 7, 2008

Fourteenth: about the war in Gaza, January 2009

Fifteenth speech: March 17, 2009

Sixteenth speech: May 12, 2009


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has there been any comment from the Maliki government or the Haditha police chief about why this "Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi" isn't named Hamid al-Zawi? And is the government simply pretending it never supported Khalid al-Mashhadani's claim that he didn't even exist?

While we continue to see a stream of "evidence" for why this guy is the real deal, there isn't much by way of an explanation as to why all the previous theories were wrong. Al-Furqan's Baghdadi seems right-on to call this a transparent information operations campaign. Makes me wonder which segments of the Iraqi population (and government) are buying into this story, and how the government expects it to hold up much longer.

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