Today, June 23, 2005, al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, announced the death of Sheikh Abdullah Mohammad Rashid al-Rashoud in al-Qaim. Al-Rashoud was one of the most wanted al-Qaeda leaders in Saudi Arabia, and according to the statement, escaped to Iraq to participate in the ?jihad and the war arena in the Land of Two Rivers.?
Zarqawi eulogizes Sheikj Abdullah al-Rashoud, describing his personal qualities which made him one of the ?best pillars of generosity, jihad, and knowledge.? The statement indicates that Rashoud ?migrated? from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, and crossed the ?devil borders? to al-Qaim, located in northwestern Iraq near the Syrian border. He and the mujahideen of al-Qaeda in Iraq fought with coalition forces in al-Qaim, and according t the message, ?[wh]hen the crusaders failed to enter the area, they had no other alternative but to bomb the mujahideens? positions with jet fighters and our Sheikh got his wish.? Further, Zarqawi references the ?martyrdom? of Sheikh Abu Anas al-Shami, the former head of the Shari?a Committee of al-Qaeda in Iraq who was killed by American rocket fire in September 2004, as leading the ?waves of martyrs,? which Sheikh al-Rashoud was continued.
(Photo from Saudi Arabia 26 Most Wanted List)
Sheikh Abdullah Mohammad Rashid al-Rashoud was one of the top ideologues for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, recruiting for the organization, rallying supports with speeches at mosques, and publishing articles for al-Qaeda?s online publication, Sawt al-Jihad. (The Voice of Jihad). Rashoud was thought killed with an associate leader of al-Qaeda in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Moqren, in June 2004. However, the deputy governor of Riyadh denied that it was al-Rashoud who was killed .
A full translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.