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Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Born: 20 October 1966;

Place of Birth: Zarqa, Jordan;

Birth name: Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh;

Died: 7 June 2006 (aged 39) in Hibhib, Iraq;

Nationality: Jordanian;

Religion: Sunni Islam (Jihadism);

Rank: Emir of Al-Qaeda in Iraq; Emir of the Mujahideen Shura Council.


Zarqawi is reported as having been a high school dropout and a petty criminal in his youth, including(allegedly), a procurer of prostitutes.

He formed al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in the 1990s, and led it until his death in June 2006.

Al-Zarqawi, known as “Shaykh of the slaughterers”, took responsibility, on several audio and video recordings, for numerous acts of violence in Iraq including suicide bombings and hostage executions.

In late 2004 he joined al-Qaeda, and pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden. After this al-Tawhid wal-Jihad became known as Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, also known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and al-Zarqawi was given the al-Qaeda title “Emir of Al Qaeda in the Country of Two Rivers”.

In September 2005, he declared “all-out war” on Shi’ites in Iraq, after the Iraqi government offensive on insurgents in the Sunni town of Tal Afar. He dispatched numerous suicide bombers throughout Iraq to attack American soldiers and areas with large concentrations of Shia militias. He is also thought to be responsible for the 2005 bombing of three hotels in Amman, Jordan.

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