Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says

Incredibly, the article goes on to claim that the ruse was performed not by the US military (heavens no), but by “Al-Qaeda in Mesopatamia”. (!!??)

How long before we have an “al-Qaeda in Bermuda”? What about “Al-Qaeda in Antarctica”? It’s only a matter of time...

Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says

BAGHDAD: 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.



Oh no, not "al-Masri"

"Al Masri is simply a common codename used by many Al Qaeda operatives..." - John Newman, in testimony at Cynthia McKinney's Congressional Hearing on 9/11, 2005.

Sounds like a fake making a fake.

The WaPo is happy to obfuscate, quoting Peter Bergen;