Top al Qaeda terrorist killed in Iraq

25 September 2006: In a pre-dawn raid conducted by 250 British troops on his home in Basra today, top al Qaeda terrorist Omar al-Farouq was killed after he opened fire on British forces who were attempting to arrest him. Omar al-Farouq, (a/k/a Mahmoud Ahmad Mohammed Ahmad), gained notoriety for being one of four detainees who escaped from a high-security detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan in July 2005 and taunted US and coalition forces by appearing in a video on an Islamist website and on Al-Arabiya television. Al-Faoruq was the main link between al-Qaeda and South East Asia’s Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorist group, the organization responsible for deadly bombings in Indonesia. He was known to be an expert in bomb making, and plotted to stage car and truck bombings at US embassies across southeast Asia on or near the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The attacks were thwarted due to his capture.

According to intelligence officials, al-Farouq entered Iraq three months ago and went by the name Mahmoud Ahmed while in Basra. Al-Farouq, or Mohammed Ahmad, was born in Iraq in 1969. He carried an Iraqi passport with the number 0547547/535 under the name Mahmoud Ahmad Mohammed Ahmad.

Based on information from U.S. intelligence officials, al Farouq provided “specific and credible” information about plots to attack the U.S. following his arrest in Indonesia in 2002.

Al-Farouq was recruited into al-Qaeda in the early 1990’s and attended the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan from 1992 and 1995. In 1995, he was sent to the Philippines, originally to enroll in a flight school for a future suicide mission, but he failed to gain entry. Instead, he attended a terrorist training camp in Mindanao, where he trained in jungle warfare tactics along with other members of the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist group. He then traveled to Indonesia, where in 2000 he set up paramilitary training camps. While there, al Farouq was reportedly planning a series of attacks on U.S. embassies and other Western interests throughout Southeast Asia. He was captured by Indonesian security officials south of Jakarta in 2002, and was turned over to the United States where he was eventually transferred to Bagram.