News Release

Zarqawi

LORETTA NAPOLEONI
Currently in Rome, Napoleoni is available for a limited number of interviews. She is the author of the book Insurgent Iraq: Al-Zarqawi and Al-Qaeda’s New Generation. She said today: “Al-Zarqawi is a man we created out of nothing, because, let’s not forget that Al-Zarqawi was presented to the world as the link between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Ladin on Feb. 5, 2003 [by Colin Powell at the United Nations] when in reality he wasn’t.”
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MILAN RAI
The London-based writer Rai is in North America until the end of June. His most recent book is the just-released 7/7: The London Bombings, Islam and the Iraq War.

Rai said today: “There’s a general consensus that Zarqawi, like Bin Laden, has reached a mythic status and the symbol of Zarqawi is more important than the man himself. While Zarqawi has been steadily marginalized by large parts of the insurgency in Iraq, in the larger Muslim world Zarqawi continues to have global significance as an incarnation of militant resistance to U.S. domination.

“For people whose anger and frustration draws them to support violent responses to the brutality of Western foreign policy, this seems to be Zarqawi’s primary identity, rather than his major role in promoting sectarian terrorism within Iraq — something that has prompted expressions of concern even from the al-Qaeda leadership.

“Zarqawi’s death does not diminish the risk from the al-Qaeda networks globally, though it may well damage the al-Qaeda network in Iraq itself.”
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RANDALL HAMUD
Hamud is editor of the book Osama Bin Laden: America’s Enemy In His Own Words. He said today: “I don’t think this will make much difference; Zarqawi was a common thug in many ways. Al-Zawahiri, who is number two to Bin Ladin, apparently wrote a letter last summer to Zarqawi, counseling him not to make war on Shiite civilians. But all this is largely irrelevant to what we should be talking about: Osama Bin Ladin and how to really stop him.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167