The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 January 2005

Who Knew There Was a Connection?

To think all this time we'd been led to believe Al-Qaida had never heard of Iraq, much less operated inside the country. And yet here they are, admitting to their involvement in a campaign to keep Iraq unstable in advance of democratic elections:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Al-Qaida's arm in Iraq released a video Saturday showing its militants lining up five captured Iraqi security officers and executing them in the street, one of a string of recent attacks claimed by the group led by terror boss Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

A statement posted on an Islamist Web site along with the video denounced the five men as "American dogs," and the group warned other Iraqis they would meet the same fate if they join the security forces loyal to the government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, seen as collaborators with the U.S. military.

In the video, one of the prisoners identified himself as Lt. Bashar Latif Jassim and said his mission was to "prevent terrorists from entering Iraq."

When asked by one his captors - who did not appear on camera - who the terrorists are, Jassim said: "Those who sabotage the country."

The five prisoners - apparently captured in the insurgent hotbed of Ramadi, west of Baghdad - were shown sitting on the ground with five masked gunmen behind them, one reading a statement. A banner carrying the name of al-Zarqawi's group, al-Qaida in Iraq, hung in the background.


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