Tuesday, July 06, 2004

  Fight Terror With Terror
Also Tuesday, a group of armed, masked Iraqi men threatened to kill Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi if he did not immediately leave the country, accusing him of killing innocent Iraqis and defiling the Muslim religion.

The threats revealed the deep anger many Iraqis feel toward foreign fighters, whom many consider as illegitimate a presence here as the 160,000 troops of the U.S.-led coalition.

In a videotape sent to the al-Arabiya television station, a group calling itself the ''Salvation Movement,'' questioned how al-Zarqawi could use Islam to justify the killing of innocents, the targeting of government officials and the kidnapping and beheading of foreigners.

''He must leave Iraq immediately, he and his followers and everyone who gives shelter to him and his criminal actions,'' said a man on the video.

The video marked the first time an Iraqi group made such a public threat against al-Zarqawi.

It was issued a day after U.S.-led coalition forces, who have been targeting al-Zarqawi, launched an airstrike in the restive city of Fallujah on a suspected safe house used by his followers. The attack killed 15 people, witnesses said.

In the video, three men, their faces covered with Arab headscarves, were flanked by rocket propelled grenades and an Iraqi flag. The man speaking had a clear Iraqi accent.

''We swear to Allah that we have started preparing ... to capture him and his allies or kill them and present them as gift to our people.'' the man said. ''This is the last warning. If you don't stop, we will do to you what the coalition forces have failed to do.''

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