Qaeda Figure Zarqawi Says He's in Iraq for 'Holy War'

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    Qaeda Figure Zarqawi Says He's in Iraq for 'Holy War'
    Wednesday, May 26, 2004 8:16 a.m. ET

    DUBAI (Reuters) - A statement purportedly from al Qaeda-linked militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi says he is in Iraq, waging "holy war" against U.S.-led occupation forces to establish a Muslim state.

    "I am in Iraq now waging holy war with my brothers to establish a nation for Islam and a state for the Koran," said the Arabic-language statement claiming to be from Zarqawi and recently posted on Islamic Web sites.

    Zarqawi and his group, Jama'at al-Tawhid and Jihad, have claimed a series of suicide bombs and attacks in Iraq on U.S. troops and on Iraqi officials in recent months.

    Washington accuses Zarqawi of being the leading operative of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network in Iraq. It says Zarqawi, who has a U.S. bounty of $10 million on his head, beheaded American Nicholas Berg in Iraq this month.

    The Jordanian-born Islamic militant said he had earlier been in Afghanistan, which he described as "the land of hopes where we are establishing the faith of God."

    An earlier statement said to be from Zarqawi, which was included in a video of Berg's beheading, called on Muslims to take up the sword of Islam in Iraq against America.
     

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