Friday, June 09, 2006

Will the real Zarqawi (tattoos? gold rings? prosthesis?) please stand up?

- Jordanian Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, born Fadel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, was killed in a U.S. air strike last night at 6:15 pm (Iraq time) in an Al Qaeda safe house north of Baghdad. Killed with Zarqawi were his "spiritual adviser" Sheikh Abdul Rahman, and an unidentified woman and child. Eight to ten other Zarqawi lieutenants were also reported to have been killed in the attack. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad this morning stated at a news conference that Zarqawi was identified based on fingerprints, facial recognition, known scars, and tattoos. The attack on Zarqawi was apparently carried out in close coordination with Jordan's General Intelligence Department, which had received a tip on Zarqawi's location from its agents operating inside Iraq.

The U.S. military spokesman's revelation that Zarqawi's body was partly identified from tattoos is noteworthy. Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Iraqi, described as the Deputy Emir of Al Qaeda in Iraq on an Al Qaeda web site, stated that Zarqawi was a martyred mujahed sheikh. Zarqawi was a lieutenant of strict Wahhabi Islam adherent Osama Bin Laden. However, why Zarqawi would have had tattoos is baffling. Islam specifically forbids tattoos. According to Islamic texts, the Prophet Mohammed forbade tattooing:

Narrated Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle said, 'The evil eye is a fact,' and he forbade tattooing. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Dress, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 827)"

Narrated 'Aun bin Abu Juhaifa: "My father bought a slave who practiced the profession of cupping. (My father broke the slave's instruments of cupping). I asked my father why he had done so. He replied, 'The Prophet forbade the acceptance of the price of a dog or blood, and also forbade the profession of tattooing, getting tattooed and receiving or giving Riba, (usury), and cursed the picture-makers.' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Sales and Trade, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 299)"

Narrated 'Abdullah: "Allah has cursed those women who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those who remove their face hairs, and those who create a space between their teeth artificially to look beautiful [hmmm.., ed. note], and such women as change the features created by Allah. Why then should I not curse those whom the Prophet has cursed? And that is in Allah's Book. i.e. His Saying: 'And what the Apostle gives you take it and what he forbids you abstain (from it).' (59.7) (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Dress, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 815)"

The Pentagon has been caught trying to exaggerate the importance of Zarqawi in propaganda disseminated in Iraq and the United States. Now, a Pentagon spokesman is claiming that a strict adherent of Islam and a jihadist was identified through examination of his tattoos. It has previously been reported that Zarqawi once removed a single tattoo from his forearm with hydrochloric acid. Other reports said that Zarqawi was once nicknamed the "green man" because he had as many tattoos as a carnival worker. The U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad clearly stated the Zarqawi body found after the U.S. air strike had been identified from "tattoos." The tattoos are as baffling as the gold ring worn by someone said to be Zarqawi in the video of the gruesome beheading of Nick Berg. The Quran forbids Muslim men from wearing jewelry, specifically gold and silver. Also, the gold ring was on "Zarqawi's" left hand, the unclean hand used for going to the toilet. Also, the U.S. military made no mention of Zarqawi's prosthesis device. It has been reported that Zarqawi lost his leg during a battle in Afghanistan.

Which one of these Zarqawis had tattoos and a prosthesis? Bottom is Zarqawi's body after two 500 lb. bombs were dropped on the safe house-- photo was neatly matted and framed with gold leaf (obviously done by a 24-hour Baghdad version of Kinko's).