AL-QAEDA has confirmed the death of a senior lieutenant to the movement’s chief Osama bin Laden, according to a video posted on the Internet today which also announced a coming “victory” in Iraq.
An al-Qaeda leader who gave his name as Abu Yahia al-Libi said in the video that the Kuwaiti-born Omar al-Farouk had “fallen a martyr” in Iraq, and detailed his career in militancy, which began in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The authenticity of the video could not be verified.
Farouk’s death on September 25 was announced by the British military, which said British forces killed a gunman who opened fire on them as they raided a house in the southern Iraqi city of
Basra hunting for the militant, also known as Mahmud Ahmed Mohammed al-Rashid.
Farouk, who was 35 and also went by the name Mahmud Ahmed Mohammed al-Rashid, had been accused of leading the al-Qaeda Islamist network in Southeast Asia.
Genetic tests on his remains proved his identity, the US-led coalition said last month.
Farouk was arrested in Indonesia in July 2002 at a time when he was allegedly planning attacks on Western embassies in Jakarta.
On July 10 last year he managed to escape from a US airbase in Afghanistan.
Farouk’s escape along with three other suspects from Bagram air base was an embarrassment for US authorities, and the militant appeared on Arabic television in a video to brag about his flight.
He apparently made his way to Iraq, his parents’ birthplace, where British troops tracked him down.
In the video, Abu Yahia – a Libyan thought to be among those who escaped from Bagram with Farouk in July 2005 – also said signs were emerging of an al-Qaeda victory in Iraq.
“Your primary enemy (the United States) recognises with full humility that its entry into Iraq was a mistake… Persevere. The first signs of victory in Iraq are showing,” he said.
The other two militants to have escaped from Bagram are Saudi Arabian Mohammed al-Qahtani and Syrian Abdullah Hashemi.