U.S. Man Linked to Terrorist al-Zarqawi, Attacks Against U.S. Troops

Northeast Intelligence Network Investigates: “Template of a Terrorist”

9 February 2006: Meet Shawqi OMAR, 43, born in Kuwait but came to the U.S. on a student visa in 1979 at the age of 17. He attended several colleges across the country and lived in Utah and Minnesota before moving to North Carolina. He married an American woman and fathered six children. OMAR became a full-fledged U.S. citizen in 1986 and even served 11 months in the Minnesota National Guard.

Sometime in 2002, OMAR traveled to Iraq to become involved in the construction business and established a home in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. His family, however, including two of his brothers, his sister, mother and father currently live in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

On October 29, 2004, Shawqi OMAR was one of twelve people arrested and charged with plotting a chemical attack in Jordan that was disrupted before it could be launched. The Jordan Times reported that the 2004 plot, which was part of a larger conspiracy to attack the Jordanian Prime Ministry and the U.S. Embassy in Amman, involved using trucks carrying 20 tons of chemicals. Experts told the newspaper that the chemicals could have killed 80,000 people and injured 160,000 others.

According to military sources, OMAR was in possession of numerous weapons and materials for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) when arrested. He was also harboring Jordanian terrorists when arrested at his Baghdad home in 2004. Information also indicates that OMAR is related to terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi by marriage and has met with the terrorist on numerous occasions.

Newly filed documents in U.S. District Court in Washington claims that Omar assisted terrorists and planned attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq. He was also reportedly involved, with al Zarqawi, in conducting surveillance of potential kidnap victims within Baghdad. OMAR reportedly used his English skills “to visit Baghdad hotels in order to entice foreigners to return to OMAR’S home for the purpose of their kidnap and ransom.” He has been in custody in Iraq as an “enemy combatant” since his arrest and faces charges in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq.

His family in North Carolina denies that OMAR has any ties to terrorism and is upset over his detention because of his status as a U.S. citizen. One of Shawqi’s brothers, Essama OMAR, works at a convenience store in Carborro, North Carolina and another, Ahmed OMAR, works for Budget Rent-a-Car in Raleigh. According to media reports, Essama Omar said his brother has no terrorist ties. Bassam OMAR, another brother who currently resides in San Diego, California told reporters “It makes me very mad. This is a country of laws, and a person, a U.S. citizen, gets held for 15 months, most of it in solitary confinement without being charged, without any merit to all of this.”