killer zarqawi a devil in disguise

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    Killer Zarqawi a devil in disguise
    By David Gardner and Michelle Cazzulino
    October 20, 2004

    THIS is the latest image of the most wanted terrorist in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who yesterday announced he has formed a deadly alliance with Osama bin Laden.

    Ordinary evil ... Zarqawi's latest image, released by the US State Department / AP

    The ruthless fanatic - whose white-collar accountant's appearance belies his cruel trademark style of beheading Western hostages - has vowed to step up his murders for bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

    US officials warned his new alliance with the mastermind of the September 11 attacks could result in more horrifying attacks against Westerners.

    They released two new images of Zarqawi - who recently beheaded British hostage Kenneth Bigley and who has a $45 million bounty on his life - in the hope of drawing information that could lead to his capture.

    Zarqawi is the world's most wanted man after bin Laden, who also has a $45 million bounty on his head, posted by the US Government.

    In the photographs released yesterday, Zarqawi is shorn of the beard he wore in earlier pictures and his head has neatly cropped hair and clean-cut looks.

    Zarqawi has managed to stay one step ahead of US forces as he masterminds the bloody insurgency in Iraq that has left hundreds dead.

    His may well have been the last face seen by engineer Mr Bigley before he was murdered by Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group.

    The Jordanian-born terror leader is responsible for the kidnapping and beheading of other foreign captives, as well as dozens of bombings and ambushes that have killed scores of US troops.

    In his statement posted on extremist Islamic websites yesterday, Zarqawi's Unification and Jihad movement announced their new alliance with al-Qaeda.

    "We announce that Tawhid wal Jihad, its emir (Zarqawi) and soldiers have pledged allegiance to the sheik of the mujahiddin (Islamic warriors) Osama bin Laden," the statement said.

    "We will listen to your orders. If you ask us to join the war, we will do it and we will listen to your instructions."

    Although it is unclear when the photographs of Zarqawi were taken, officials hope they may provide clues to help catch the terrorist who is believed to be operating from the flashpoint Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was heavily shelled by US warplanes yesterday.

    Within hours of Zarqawi's statement, more than 100 Iraqis were killed and wounded when six mortar rounds hit an Iraqi National Guard headquarters in Mashahidan, 40km north of Baghdad.

    The Daily Telegraph



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