Iraq, Inspiration Osama Bin Laden, Cowie discussed on Covert
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Five hundred miles to the west of Baghdad or Al-Zour Cowie was was born in one thousand nine hundred sixty six author of insurgent Iraq. I'll ZERKALO WE IN THE NEW GENERATION Loretta Napoleonic other cow is a working class individual. It does not belong to an elitist family in that is very very different from the majority of the lead there some of the Jihadist Movement and arcade them his his background is he was a criminal. You know he spent time in Jordanian prison for sexual assault salt he was a drug dealer. He was a petty criminal Jordan. Well there is a there's a narrative which you find in the lives of of quite a lot the people who got involved without Kaieda and I suppose you could say that there's a period in their lives which you might call the sinful years crazy years as I mean you saw it with some of the nine eleven hijackers that there was a period of their life when they've been drinking heavily and doing lots of things which clearly Islam would consider very very very Harare unplayed Zaccaria was one of those people I mean accounts differ as to whether he was actually hard boozing villa in his hometown now it's certainly true that he was involved in some forms of crime and that he probably had some kind of a piff unie some kind of moments when he realized that he he's life was going the wrong way and the Islam was the answer for him and of course many of those people who had kind of experience often in jail became the most militant jihadist because they felt they had redeemed their lives and discovered purpose in one thousand nine hundred nine. All ZACCARIA traveled to Afghanistan to become a freedom MM fighter against the Soviet occupation it was there he met his mentor and Inspiration Osama bin Laden at the beginning of two thousand finally finally Auxerre car. We met Osama bin Laden. It was a very interesting meeting with the leader of al-Qaeda a very very powerful man in Afghanistan. Also cow was a novelty. It was the leader of this small group of individuals who did not even have a name that did not not have base and the reason why are the Cowie met is because he was looking for a sponsor he was looking for money. He wanted to set up a little camp where he could look after his followers. Osama bin Laden offer Cowie to become part of Al.. Okay dumb former White House counterterrorism adviser Fran Townsend Sir Kelly really came to at least my attention I think many in the counterterrorism community me during the millennium the ninety nine to two thousand period there had been a series of raids in Jordan and there was a threat in inside Jordan there was tremendous cooperation between the FBI the CIA and our Jordanian counterparts during in fact we deployed a number of FBI agents. It's over to Jordan to work with the CIA and the Jordanians and during the course of that investigation it became clear the leader of the cell was an individual by the name of Zarcal. We we knew he was an important terrorists figure. We knew he was an important operational leader. I don't think anyone at that point in time. Imagine you you know more than a decade later we would be chasing him inside. Iraq where he would become an even more influential figure in Al Qaeda in the wake of September eleventh much of the Al Qaeda leadership went into hiding in the tribal belt between Afghanistan and Pakistan the United States had begun its invasion of Afghanistan Afghanistan Zorka we and other al-Qaeda fighters meanwhile had crossed over to Iran and then into the northern Iraq region known as Kurdistan now now that move is very much the beginning of the making with made because the Americans were informed of the existence of outsor- Cowie at the end of two thousand and one by the Kurdish secret service the Kurdish secret service alerted Americans the odds are Cowan was the link between between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein it was clear as we were in Iraq the increasing importance of czar calloway inside al-Qaeda circles he had come up during the course of the war in Afghanistan people understood his importance as an operational leader and he was clearly trusted by bin Laden Auden and Al Qaeda senior leadership and so when he was deployed if you will from the federal administrative tribal aries into Iraq we understood as the the American counterterrorism community that this was a significant event this was he was well liked by soldiers and al Qaeda. He was well respected by leadership. He was incredibly capable he was experienced and so he had that unique combination of skills that would allow him to be a real force on for al Qaeda against US inside Iraq in two thousand three the US and other coalition forces entered Iraq and the Saddam Hussein regime quickly collapsed but it created a major power vacuum houser Collie who was hiding in the shadows kick started a campaign of violence. He stirred up the hatred between Iraq's two main religious groups the majority Shia Muslims and the minority Sunnis he then created a militant group with the aim of killing as many many Shias as possible and sparking a brutal cycle of violence across the nation and it was drawing the attention of the United States especially Secretary Three of State Colin Powell on the fifth of February two thousand and three calling power when to Security Council and in front of the words presented also Cowie as link between Qaidam and Saddam Hussein nobody at art of Our cowie before that day I mean everybody in the community of terrorists expert and never heard his name interestingly pressingly enough from that moment onwards also cowie became the men masterminded immaturity of the terrorist various attack which had taken place after nine eleven also Conway's group was named by intelligence officials al Qaeda in Iraq or for short short a Q. I when you look at Al.. Qaeda's mission in Iraq is our couch mission. We mistakenly look at these organizations as terrorist groups. This is too narrow. These are revolutionary organizations that want to spread an idea they can return to what they call a caliphate of fourteen centuries old old concept that there's a pure way to live according to the Koran Prophet Muhammad targets included bombing the offices of the United Nations and the Red Cross regular attacks tax on the basis of US military coalition forces but in an effort to maximize casualties the terrorist group shifted its attention to targeting public markets. It's police stations mosques and with it media coverage and in the eyes of our Collie this was attention on his movement and an important recruitment Krugman tool former interrogator and author of how to break a terrorist Matthew Alexander. There's a large influx of foreign fighters into Iraq after the Abu Abu Ghraib scandal which was essentially al-Qaeda's number one recruiting tool for convincing young Muslims from all across from everywhere from North Africa all across the Middle East to come to Iraq and fight in what they termed Jihad in these foreign fighters were extremely potent because they were the ones who made most of the suicide bombers so they're the ones that essentially we're also the most brutal I think the largely the ax you see like beheadings happen because of these foreign fighters and not so much because of Iraqis Al-Zour collie orchestrated numerous suicide bombings a devastating series of attacks in March two thousand four killed close to two hundred people at she a holy sites czar Cowie was is at the top of the target list inside Iraq one because of the bloodshed he was causing and not just of Iraqis. I mean this. This terrorist leader became a primary source of injuries and killings of our own soldiers and coalition forces and so absolutely he became prominent on the scope of the president in terms of briefings and targets then on May eleventh.