Soldiers Kill Bin Laden's Iraqi Pal
September 26, 2006
AN al-Qaeda leader was shot dead by British troops in Iraq yesterday.
Omar Farouq was killed at a house in Basra after opening fire on soldiers who had surrounded it.
The fugitive is thought to have returned to Iraq two weeks ago after carrying out attacks on US forces in Afghanistan.
The operation involved 250 men from 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.
British Forces spokesman Major Charlie Burbidge called Farouq "a terrorist of considerable significance".
He was Osama Bin Laden's lieutenant in South East Asia and linked to a series of kidnappings and murders.
He escaped from a US jail in Afghanistan last year, later appearing on Arab TV to brag about the breakout.
Security experts say he joined Bin Laden's network in the 1990s and trained in Afghanistan.
UK troops kill fugitive al-Qaida leader
Tuesday September 26, 2006 Guardian Unlimited
British troops in Iraq have shot dead an al-Qaida leader who escaped from a maximum security prison in Afghanistan last year, officials said today.
Omar al-Farouq was killed yesterday after he opened fire on British soldiers who were raiding his home in the southern city of Basra, Major Charlie Burbridge said.
Maj Burbridge refused to confirm that the dead man was definitely the same person who allegedly led al-Qaida's operations in south-east Asia, saying only he was understood to be a leading terrorist.
However, a police officer in Basra said al-Farouq was the same escaped prisoner, adding that he had entered Iraq three months ago under the name Mahmoud Ahmed and was known to be a bomb-making expert.
Some 250 British troops from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment took part in the raid on al-Farouq's home. "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," Maj Burbridge said.
"During the attempted arrest, Omar Farouq was killed, which is regrettable because we wanted to arrest him."
Al-Farouq and three other al-Qaida suspects escaped from Bagram in central Afghanistan in July 2005, although US officials did not confirm the escape until four months later.
The four fugitives boasted about their breakout on a video broadcast in October last year on the Dubai-based television station al-Arabiya. They claimed to have plotted their escape on a Sunday, when many Americans on the base were off duty, with one of the four picking the lock of their cell.
Born in Kuwait to Iraqi parents, al-Farouq is believed to have joined al-Qaida in the early 1990s and trained in Afghanistan before unsuccessfully trying to enrol at a flight school in the Philippines to train for a suicide mission.
He is thought to have later plotted bombings at US embassies across south-east Asia before being arrested in Indonesia in June 2002. He was described then as one of the most significant al-Qaida figures to have been captured. His escape deeply annoyed Indonesia, which handed al-Farouq over to US custody.
Al-Farouq's Indonesian wife said today she had yet to hear confirmation of his death. "I still have faith he is still alive," Mira Agustina told Indonesia's el-Shinta radio.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5379604.stmProfile: Omar al-Farouq