In a statement posted to the internet today, January 18, 2005, by its official spokesperson Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, the group ?Tanzeem Qaedat al-Jihad Fi Bilad al-Rafidayn? [the Base of the Jihad in the Country of Two Rivers - Iraq] denied claims made by Ahmad al-Shayeh that Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi (the group?s leader) had been arrested in Fallujah by the Iraqi Police force.
According to al-Sharq al-Awsat, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper, Ahmad Abdullah Abdul Rahmad al-Shayeh is a 20-year-old Saudi who was involved in the explosion of an oil tanker truck in Baghdad on December 22, 2004. Al-Shayeh miraculously survived the explosion of the oil tanker truck he was driving when it exploded in front of the quarters of an Iraqi Police Unit affiliated with the Ministry of Interior, killing 10 people and injuring 6 others. After his arrest by the Iraqi Police, Al-Shayeh said that he was not aware the truck had been booby-trapped and that he had simply been asked to drive it to that specific location; as soon as he parked it, the tanker exploded and he was cast away. Al-Shayeh, however, confessed to belonging to al-Qaeda, which had sent him to Iraq, which he entered in November 2004 from the city of Aana (near the Syrian border) from where he proceeded to Ramadi.
A translation of the statement from Tanzeem Qaedat al-Jihad Fi Bilad al-Rafidayn is provided to members of our Intel Service.