Qaqaa Killed

idaf sends this link below to the news that Abu al-Qaqa' has been shot and killed. The best story to appear on Abu al-Qaqaa was written by the supurb Iraqi journalist, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who tells the amazing story of one Syrian jihadi, who came out of Qaqaa's mosque, From here to eternity, Wednesday June 8, 2005. Also see this 2003 article written by Nicholas Blanford, "In secular Syria, an Islamic revival."

Idaf writes: Abu el-Qaqa’ is dead..

His killers were followed and caught by his followers immediately. Apparently they were Iraqis. Probably Al-Qaida supporters. Abu el-Qaqa’ has been defamed and attacked in al-qaida sympathizers’ websites and online forums for months now. His guilt according to Al-Qaida sympathizers was that he stopped short of supporting killing “infidels” (read Shia and other sects in Iraq) and was limiting his call for Jihad against US occupation forces only. He was labeled as a Syrian regime follower by Al-Qaida websites.

This is his official website  

Israeli reporter and commentator Ron Ben-Yishai continues his journey in Syria… Nice photos.

Comments (15)

Jamal said:

As anyone in Aleppo will tell you, the guy has been free to run rabid and sow deep trouble there, forget about Iraq. But he was a protected species under the stupid appeasement arrangement with the Syrian “leadership” who can only manage short-term self-protective deals rather than tackle serious issues.

Why bother to shoot him – the damage is done.

From the BBC September 29 2007

A Syrian cleric suspected of recruiting foreign militants to fight in Iraq has been shot dead in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, his aides have said.

Sheikh Mahmoud Abu al-Qaqaa was shot several times by a gunman as he left the Imam Mosque after Friday prayers.

The gunman tried to flee the scene of the shooting, but was chased by a crowd and later arrested, the aides said.

Correspondents say Abu al-Qaqaa was a charismatic Sunni cleric with thousands of radical Islamist followers in Syria.

His anti-American sermons attracted a wide audience after the US-led invasion in Iraq in 2003, and his reputation rapidly spread.

The BBC’s Kim Ghattas, who has interviewed the sheikh, notes that assassinations are highly unusual in Syria.

She says there are a number of stories concerning why he was killed, some of them contradictory, but adds that he does appear to have been instrumental in channelling jihadis into Iraq.

‘American agent’
After the shooting, one aide to the cleric told the Associated Press that “terrorists” had killed the sheikh, whose real name was Mahmoud Qul Aghassi, for his “nationalist positions”.

Another aide, Sheikh Samir Abu Khashbeh, said the gunman had told him that he had killed the cleric “because he was an agent of the Americans”.

“The one who carried out the assassination was a prisoner of the American forces in Iraq and had been released some time ago,” Abu Khashbeh said. “He is known to us.”

In June 2006, a group of militants killed while attempting to carry out an attack in the capital, Damascus, were found to be carrying CDs of sermons by Abu al-Qaqaa in which he called for US forces in the Middle East to be slaughtered “like cattle”.

Afterwards, the sheikh denied he had called on Syrians to go to war in Iraq.

Others have claimed that Abu al-Qaqaa was an agent of the Syrian government, who was used to appease rising anti-American discontent amongst the country’s Muslims and to keep the authorities informed of the activities of his fellow jihadists.

Abu al-Qaqaa is said to have kept a low profile in the last year since he was appointed head of a religious school by the Syrian government and he did not openly criticise the authorities.

The Syrian government has yet to make an official statement about the incident.

September 29th, 2007, 4:13 am


ausamaa said:

It is a profanity in this day and age to worry about things like Al Qaqaa, Shaker Al Absi, Abu Huraira, Zawaheri, OBL, Abu Sayaf and the other Abu’s who are neither Socialists, nor Nationalists, nor anti-imperilaists at political birth.

Who helped create them is the First question?

The Second question is wether they are now representing a boomrange effect, or is that their intial CREATORS are still using them in one way or another?

Both Perhaps?

September 29th, 2007, 7:53 am


antika said:

here we go….the first fruits of the Amerisraeli attack…well done…those people are used in both directions…

September 29th, 2007, 8:44 am


Disaffection said:

One can be as radical and outrageous as he/she wants in syria, just as long as it doesn’t conflict with current regime agenda. and they say we don’t have freedom. tut tut…

This statement touches on the root of the problem:
“Abu Ibrahim is furious at American imperialism, outraged by Palestine, repelled by the secular Syrian regime. He is angry, as many Arab young men are, and like many of his generation, has grown to see the holy war of jihad championed by Osama bin Laden as the only way to salvation.”
So what do they do? find the quickest and easiest option of come to terms with the problem by killing themselves. dealing with the problem internally rather than addressing the problem and the environment around them.
The authority and religious leaders have a responsibility to highlight to this desperate youth the options and possibilities of seeking salvation. Its not just all about Bin Laden.

September 29th, 2007, 11:29 am


ausamaa said:

In Depth Analysis of Human Nature given above:

“So what do they do? find the quickest and easiest option of come to terms with the problem by killing themselves.”

Easiest and quickest, huh?

I think it is the opposit exactly. They surely have explored all practical and possible solutions, found non available, and were Forced to reach such a decision. They figured out that this is the Most Effective way of hurting the enemy and exhibiting to this enemy the lengths they will go to in order to resist his exploitation.

Killing oneself is not an easy thought to contemplate, but in the face of a much military superior enemy, it Can become the last resort to avenge, demonstrate determination, and retaliate against the enemy.

And despite all, one should remember that today’s Jihadists are not the first to resort to this type of action, they are late comers actually: remember the Japanese Kamikaze pilots in WWII and the Jewish Massada?

Just to keep things in prespective..

September 29th, 2007, 9:58 pm


Jamal said:

Ausamaa, here’s another perspective:

Financial Times (UK), September 28 2007

By Krishna Guha in New York

Business and social entrepreneurs need to take urgent action to create 80m jobs for young people in the Middle East and north Africa over the next decade to stop them falling prey to extremists, Mohammed Al Gergawi, minister of state for cabinet affairs in the United Arab Emirates, said on Friday.

Mr Al Gergawi told the final day of the Clinton Global Initiative “either we have in the next ten years 80m productive young people…or we have 80m radical extremists in the Middle East.”

He said there was a lot of “talk” about this, but not enough action. He said the foundation he leads was trying to help by working to improve the quality of higher education, provide venture funding for graduates and invest in rejuvenating Arab culture.

“For each 100,000 books being published in the US 6,500 books are being published in the Arab world,” he said.

September 29th, 2007, 10:13 pm


offended said:

Khaddam’s interview with Al Shira’a Magazine. Mesmerizing narratives.
If I can only believe them!

September 30th, 2007, 5:48 am


ausamaa said:

Why do I get the feeling that Junblat and Khaddam are having the same dreams and nightmares?

Does anyone really beleive a word of what khaddam says? Why doesnt he call it a day, go to Haiiti or the Costa del Sol, or somewhere next to Rifaat, enjoy the money you have and get the hell out of the way for at least for six or seven years.

September 30th, 2007, 6:09 am


t_desco said:

Curiouser and curiouser:

Arab League center denies it was Israeli raid target

September 30, 2007

DAMASCUS — An agricultural research center run by the Arab League vehemently denied Sunday it was the target of a secret Israeli air raid on Syrian territory earlier this month.

The Arab Center for the Studies of Arid zones and Dry lands (ACSAD) issued a statement saying it was “surprised” by media reports that it was the target of an Israeli airstrike, and said it had nothing to hide from foreign journalists wishing to visit its facility.

The latest twist in an increasingly-bizarre story came Saturday when Syrian Vice-President Faruq Al Shara insisted that an isolated airstrike by Israeli jets three weeks ago – which US and British media said targeted a nuclear research facility – had, in fact, hit the ACSAD facility.

“The images prove that the target that was attacked by air force jets in Syria was an academic research centre for the study of arid soil,” Shara told a news conference in Damascus.

“The last report appeared in European, American, and also a few Arab media outlets, and it noted that the attack was carried out at a research centre in Deir Ezzor.

“When I saw the photograph, it became evident that we were talking about the Desert Lands Research Center, a center that belongs to the Arab League. This is the picture, you can see it, and it proves that everything that was said about this attack was wrong.”

However, the plot thickened when ACSAD, itself, was moved to make a statement Sunday denying it was the target.

“Leaks in the Zionist media concerning this ACSAD station are total inventions and lies,” it said, adding that ACSAD was prepared to organize a tour for journalists to view the station.

An official at Arab League headquarters in Cairo was unable to confirm that the photos referred to by Shara were, in fact, those of the center. …

(my emphasis)

September 30th, 2007, 8:45 pm


Alex said:

I love Khaddam … he criticizes Bashar for being not consistent, but listen to Khaddam in this interview

First: Bashar does not listen to anyone … he is arrogant
بشار الاسد رجل انفعالي ومغرور، وهو لا يريد حواراً مع احد، هو يعتقد ان كل الناس مخطئون وهو على صواب

Then: Bashar agrees to something, then some random person would talk to him and convince him to change his mind.

هل من طبع بشار ان يعد ولا يفي؟
– نعم، هذا طبعه، وهو متردد.. ولنا معه تجارب عديدة فنحن كنا نحدثه في أمر فيقتنع به، ويأخذ فيه قراراً وبعد قليل يمكن ان يأتيه شخص آخر ويقنعه بعكسه فيتخذ قراراً مناقضاً للأول.

But this was a more interesting interview. Unlike his other boring ones. I can see he adjusted to a lot of the criticism that followed his earlier interviews.

and a lot of what he said sounds true … minus tha parts where he was obviously trying to prove that Bashar is an idiot and a fool.

September 30th, 2007, 9:40 pm


t_desco said:

Essential reading:

Shifting Targets

The Administration’s plan for Iran.
by Seymour M. Hersh
The New Yorker

See also this Hersh interview on CNN’s Late Edition.

This idea by Cheney to bomb Iran “just a little bit”, is it just a trick to “end run” the president (Steve Clemons)?

September 30th, 2007, 9:55 pm


ausamaa said:

Nice article by Seymore Herch, and a not-s-smart question by Brezezinski who wondered:

“Will they cool off Ahmadinejad and tone down their language?” The Bush Administration, by charging that Iran was interfering in Iraq, was aiming “to paint it as ‘We’re responding to what is an intolerable situation,’ ” Brzezinski said. “This time, unlike the attack in Iraq, we’re going to play the victim. The name of our game seems to be to get the Iranians to overplay their hand.”

The Answer to Brezezinski came from “Ahmadinejad, in his speech at the United Nations: “the decisions of the United States and France are not important.”

Draw your own conclusions.

Mine?: the US does not have the means to play hardball with Tehran now while its contemplating an “Honerable Withdrawl” from Iraq.Crazy or not, Bush and his group of neo-cons have neither the balls nor the assured theater-superiority to tackle Iran. Talking harsh is something; being at the receiving end of Iran’s punches is another.

September 30th, 2007, 11:02 pm


why-discuss said:

The US administration is cornered, time is playing against them, more US soldiers are dying everyday and they just don’t know how to stop that.
The idea of attacking Iran sounds seducing as a face-saver. If the media makes a strong campaign putting the blame on Iran for the killed US soldiers, the public opinion ( with French support this time) may swallow it.
The trouble is that ‘surgical operations’ are very risky. In view of all the preceding failures of such US executed “surgical operations”, another failure will be one more disaster the Bush administration would have brought to the americans and the Middle-East. It will also impact France negatively.
Therefore an attack on Iran is an act of US despair and will be opposed by the world community. But with Bush and Cheney, logic is not a criterium.

October 1st, 2007, 2:05 am


why-discuss said:

L’Orient le jour:

L’imam Abou al-Qaaqaa assassiné à Alep serait le parrain de Fateh el-Islam

L’imam de la mosquée al-Imane, assassiné vendredi par balles à Alep, à sa sortie de la prière, Mahmoud Goul Aghassi, alias Abou al-Qaaqaa, serait le parrain du groupuscule terroriste Fateh el-Islam, a indiqué hier le site Naharnet. Cet islamiste kurde syrien de 34 ans, connu pour ses appels au jihad diffusés par enregistrements sonores, incitait les fidèles de Syrie à aller mener la « guerre sainte » contre les forces américaines en Irak. Il avait constitué un groupe, Ghourabaa el-Cham, qui recrutait des jeunes combattants dans cette optique. Plus récemment, il recrutait les combattants pour les envoyer au Liban, a indiqué le site Naharnet. Début 2005, il s’était rendu au Yémen, où il a séjourné près d’un an.
Des milliers de personnes, des jeunes pour la plupart, ont assisté, samedi à Alep, aux funérailles de cheikh Abou al-Qaaqaa, alors que les autorités syriennes observaient le plus grand mutisme sur le meurtre. L’un des agresseurs, accusé de lui avoir tiré plusieurs balles dans la tête et la poitrine avec un fusil automatique, a été capturé par la foule et livré à la police. Il se trouvait toujours samedi en garde à vue. Mais les informations demeurent confuses concernant le reste du groupe qui a pris part à l’assassinat. Certaines sources racontent que ses membres auraient pris la fuite, alors que le correspondant en Syrie de RFI, Talal el-Attrache, indique que les assassins, immédiatement arrêtés par les sympathisants de l’imam, seraient d’origine irakienne et feraient partie d’un groupe proche d’el-Qaëda. Le journaliste précise également que ces derniers mois, les sites Internet de la mouvance salafiste s’en étaient violemment pris à Abou al-Qaaqaa, accusé d’avoir condamné les assassinats « d’infidèles », c’est-à-dire des chiites et des membres d’autres confessions non sunnites en Irak. L’imam avait limité ses appels à la guerre sainte à la lutte « contre les forces d’occupation américaines en Irak ». « Cela lui avait valu le reproche d’être à la solde du régime syrien », rapporte encore RFI.
« Mais l’homme, qui avait été nommé directeur du lycée islamique d’Alep, avait aussi, dans l’un de ses enregistrements sonores, adressé un message au président Bachar el-Assad, l’enjoignant de mettre un terme à la corruption qui sévit dans le pays », ajoute M. el-Attrache.
Le correspondant de RFI précise aussi que Mahmoud Goul Aghassi était en outre accusé d’ « avoir joué un rôle dans l’attentat manqué contre le siège de la télévision officielle à Damas. Quatre terroristes avaient été tués dans cet attentat. Mais l’imam avait nié, mettant au défi quiconque prouverait son implication dans l’affaire ».

October 1st, 2007, 2:11 am


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