The bastard escaped captivity in Afghanistan only to reach his own death in Iraq.
British forces killed a top terrorist leader yesterday, an al Qaeda leader who escaped from a US prison in Afghanistan and returned to Iraq.
Omar al Faruq was killed in a predawn raid on his home in Basra by 250 troops from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. He was killed after he opened fire on British soldiers entering his home, said Major Charlie Burbridge, a British forces spokesman.
The Ministry of Defence said al Faruq was closely linked to terrorist activity such as murders and kidnappings.
“We had information that a terrorist of considerable significance was hiding in Basra. As a result of that information we conducted an operation in an attempt to arrest him,” Burbridge said.
“During the attempted arrest Omar Faruq was killed, which is regrettable because we wanted to arrest him.”
He said he could not comment on whether Faruq was the leader of al Qaeda’s southeast Asia operations.
However, a Basra police officer said it was the same man, adding al Faruq was an expert bomb-maker.
The officer said al Faruq was living in Basra under the name Mahmoud Ahmed and had entered Iraq three months ago.
Neighbours said al Faruq was a member of al Qaeda and had received training in camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Al Faruq was one of four al Qaeda suspects who broke out of the prison in Bagram, the main US base in Afghanistan, in July 2005. The escape was an embarrassment for the US military, and the Pentagon waited until November to confirm it.
Al Faruq and three other escapees later appeared in a video sent to the Dubai-based television station Al Arabiya and boasted of their feat.
The story rang familiar and piqued my curiousity and, yes, I had blogged the original news of the escape. At the time, I stated that I hoped to be able to follow up on this story. Well, here I am and here, more than fourteen months later, is the follow-up: scratch one bad guy.
It does appear that al Faruq, a.k.a. Mahmood Ahmad from Kuwait, was a bigger dog in the fight than we realized at the time. That, or he was just a rapid promotee in opening-rich environment that we have bloodily provided the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh yeah, despite some that insist that the conflict in Iraq is still a separate fight than the war against Islamist terror in the Afghan theater, this little story of an enemy’s commute to a new office should end such an argument … but sadly it won’t.