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Leader Of Al Qaeda Group In Iraq Was Fictional, U.s. Military Says

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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/world/africa/18iht-iraq.4.6718200.html?_r=5&

From 2007

For more than a year, the leader of one the most notorious insurgent groups in Iraq was said to be a mysterious Iraqi named Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi.

As the titular head of the Islamic State in Iraq, an organization publicly backed by Al Qaeda, Baghdadi issued a steady stream of incendiary pronouncements. Despite claims by Iraqi officials that he had been killed in May, Baghdadi appeared to have persevered unscathed.

On Wednesday, a senior American military spokesman provided a new explanation for Baghdadi's ability to escape attack: He never existed.

Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima.

The ruse, Bergner said, was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was trying to mask the dominant role that foreigners play in that insurgent organization.

The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and then arrange for Masri to swear allegiance to him. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements.

The evidence for the American assertions, Bergner announced at a news briefing, was provided by an Iraqi insurgent: Khalid Abdul Fatah Daud Mahmud al-Mashadani, who was said to have been captured by American forces in Mosul on July 4.

According to Bergner, Mashadani is the most senior Iraqi operative in Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. He got his start in the Ansar al-Sunna insurgent group before joining Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia more than two years ago, and became the group's "media emir" for all of Iraq. Bergner said that Mashadani was also an intermediary between Masri in Iraq and bin Laden and Zawahiri, whom the Americans assert support and guide their Iraqi affiliate.

"Mashadani confirms that al-Masri and the foreign leaders with whom he surrounds himself, not Iraqis, made the operational decisions" for Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, Bergner said.

Is it all just a mirage???

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Sometime reality is weirder than the weirdest conspiracy theories.

I'd guess that Osama Bin Laden was most likely fictional too, created by the CIA.

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Hold on, why is an article from 2007 talking about Islamic State?

Isn't IS a much more recent creation?

Is it all just a mirage???

It certainly seems so... :ph34r:

Just like in the movie 'wag the dog' (a very watchable movie by the way):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120885/

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a presidential sex scandal.

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Sometime reality is weirder than the weirdest conspiracy theories.

I'd guess that Osama Bin Laden was most likely fictional too, created by the CIA.

Barack Obama is fictional too, created by Fox News and played by an actor.

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Barack Obama is fictional too, created by Fox News and played by an actor.

They must have bigger budgets nowadays. Ronnie Raygun was played by a wooden puppet.

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Is it all just a mirage???

Quite possibly. A CIA/Mossad funded one, allegedly.

(Wag the Dog is a good film - more truth than fiction in there, I suspect)

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Knowing Fox, he's probably a white guy blacked-up!

I direct you to one of my favourite films, "Hollywood Shuffle" from I believe 1986 ish.

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Frankly, some days I have to wonder whether bin Laden was fictional.

'Yeah, we killed him instead of capturing him, and, well, we, like, threw his body in the sea, but, hey, trust us, we'd never lie to you.'

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i have little doubt that there is no such organization as Al Qaeda.

It's a propaganda construction.

Adam Curtis says as much in his doco "The Power Of Nightmares".

Yes, he got Jason Burke on it to explain his opinion. It's more of an applied label than a specific entity that exists. Definitely believable.

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