Sunday, September 26, 2004

Preferably Dead

The season premier of CBS's "fake but accurate" 60 Minutes was tonight. If one carefully separates out the accurate from the fake, Ed Bradley (BDS sufferer) reveals some interesting facts about the Ammonite heretic: Dead Or Alive.

He was born as Ahmed al-Khalayleh, but in his 20s, like so many other Arabs, he followed the call of Jihad to Afghanistan to fight the Russians. It was there that religion became a major focus of his life. It was there that he learned the tools of terrorism. And it was there that he became known as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

It was also where he met Saleh Ilhami, who covered the war as a journalist. For a while, al-Zarqawi also worked as a journalist, but most of his time was spent fighting the Russians. Ilhami says that his friend once told him about a dream he had -- about a sword falling from the sky -- with a verse from the Koran written on it.

“On one of its sides it was written, ‘You shall have the upper hand if you are believers.’ On the other side was written the word ‘Jihad,’” says Ilhami. “It was a type of prophecy or a vision. … That in the future he will become a great man.”

Al-Zarqawi and Ilhami became so close that al-Zarqawi offered him his sister’s hand in marriage. A video of Zarqawi at the wedding is the only footage of him known to exist. A year after the wedding, he returned home to Jordan, became involved in radical Islamic politics, was arrested for illegal possession of explosives, and sentenced to prison. That’s where he met Laith Shubeilat, who told 60 Minutes that in his opinion, al-Zarqawi was extremely intolerant.


Many of his victims have been the police whom al-Zarqawi considers infidels. Yousef Rabbabah spent three years in prison with al-Zarqawi and says the terrorist believes anyone who works for the government violates the Koran

“Someone who serves in the army or the police for example, this person is an infidel because he serves infidel regimes,” says Rabbabah. “Theoretically, if you divide people into believers and non-believers, then non-believers should be killed according to his understanding of religion.”


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