Thursday, May 17, 2007
(AFP) - An Al Qaeda leader accused of orchestrating 800 to 900 bombings in and around Baghdad will be tried by an Iraqi court, the US military said Wednesday. Omar Wahdallah Dad, also known as Abu Nur and "The Spider," will "face Iraqi justice in the Iraqi legal system," said US military spokesman Major General William Caldwell at a press conference.
Abu Nur, believed by the US military to have been one of Al Qaeda's senior commanders in Baghdad, "has admitted to having a role in between 800 to 900 car and roadside bomb attacks," Caldwell said. Abu Nur will be tried for violating Iraq's anti-terrorism law and could therefore face the death penalty.
The US military accuses Abu Nur of heading a car bomb network responsible for some of the most spectacular bombings that have rocked the capital in recent months, including an attack on the Shiite slum of Sadr City in November 2006. In that attack, considered the worst on Baghdad since the war to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003, a series of blasts killed at least 202 people. "He has admitted to playing a part in the horrific bombings in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad November 23 of last year and he has also admitted to his responsibility in the kidnapping and murder of four Russian diplomats in June 2006," Caldwell said.
According to the charges brought against him Abu Nur personally beheaded two of the diplomats after which his insurgent group circulated a video of the act on the Internet. "Abu Nur has claimed that Al Qaeda targets everybody. He claims there are not any innocent people," Caldwell said. US forces arrested Abu Nur north of Baghdad in December. He is still in US custody.