Al-Qaeda in Iraq [Tanzeem Qaedat Al-Jihad Fi Bilad Al-Rafidayn] issued a response today, September 27, 2005, to the allegations that the number two man in the organization was killed. According to the message, Abu Azzam al-Iraqi, who the ?faces of the Crusaders and their followers? announced as the second man in al-Qaeda in Iraq, was merely a ?soldier? within the group and leader of one of the active brigades in Baghdad. The elevation of Abu Azzam?s stature is indicated by the group to be a fabrication to ?raise the moral of their [crusader] soldiers?.
Media reports indicate that Abu Azzam, the alleged number two in al-Qaeda in Iraq, was killed Monday during a raid on a safe house in Baghdad. Responding to the news of his death, al-Qaeda in Iraq states: ?If it is true, we congratulate him for being a martyr.?
A full translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.