Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

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Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (Arabic: أبو مصعب الزرقاوي; b. 1966, d. June 7, 2006) was the Jordanian-born Islamic insurgent head of al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (Group of Monotheism and Jihad,) which later became al-Qaeda in Iraq and ultimately the Islamic State. A notorious figure associated with Osama bin Laden, he was known for high-profile bombings such as those of the UN office in Bagdad and Shiite Mosques and for bloody assassinations, beheadings of foreign hostages, and mayhem that was intended to drive Iraq into civil war.


Afghanistan and Pakistan

Zarqawi first arrived in Afghanistan in 1989, after the Soviet withdrawl of forces. He worked as a correspondent for a radical Islamist journal. He anticipated taking part in the victorious fall of Kabul and erection of the first Sunni-Islamic state in modern times, however jihadists immediately began fighting among themselves. Kabul was not fall for another three years.

Meantime Zarqawi took residence in Pakistan and befriended many Jordanian jihadists, and began organizing to overthrow the Heshemite dynasty of Jordan.[1]

Return to Jordan

He spent seven years in prison in Jordan for conspiring to overthrow the monarchy and establish an Islamic caliphate. He fled to Iraq after his release in Jordan.

al-Qaeda in Iraq

By 2003, Zarqawi relocated his al Qaeda affiliate Group of Monotheism and Jihad to Iraq. It became an affiliate group to al-Qaeda and was commonly known in Western media sources as al Qaeda in Iraq. By 2004, Zarqawi had already claimed 25 attacks against US and its allied Iraqi forces. His attacks eventually occurred daily until he was killed by a precision U.S. airstike in 2006.


  1. [http://www.jamestown.org/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=27304#.VANcMfBX-uY
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