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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Propagande et désinformation

by By P. B.

Propaganda and Misinformation

Translated by John O’Neil

Translated Friday 14 July 2006, by John O’Neil

Contradictory information on the name of al-Zarqawi’s successor.

Egyptian lawyer Mamduh Ismail defended Islamists from his country for a long time. He himself was a militant fundamentalist. He even worked with Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama Bin Laden’s Egyptian right hand man. However, Ismail has just thrown a paving stone in the pond by affirming that the man designated by the Americans as being the successor of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq, Ayub al-Masri, which means "Ayub the Egyptian", is actually in an Egyptian jail! In any case that’s what he explained to the BBC.

One remembers US military spokesman in Iraq General William Caldwell’s statement which described al-Masri as a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq operative and even, up to that point, responsible for facilitating the "movement of foreign fighters from Syria into Baghdad itself. We know al-Masri has been a terrorist since 1982, beginning with his involvement in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad." Precise information, provided in a time-line, even with a supporting picture. A source from the Egyptian Interior ministry disclosed that the picture was of a militant by the name of Sharif Haza. For his part, Mamduh Ismail affirms that he met Sharif Haza in the Tura prison (in the Cairo suburbs). “He laughed a lot about what is being said about him out there. He told me that he has been in jail for many years now and that he has no relationship whatsoever with al-Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden."

True or not, Bin Laden always speaks of a certain Hamza al- Muhajir in audio messages as al-Zarqawi’s successor in Iraq, not al-Masri. Who should we believe then, General Caldwell or Bin Laden? And if they both actually play in the sphere of propaganda and the misinformation will they neutralize each other?

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