RealNews

Qaeda Informant Helps Trace Group's Trail

Early last April, while German intelligence agents eavesdropped, one of Europe’s most powerful terrorists had a cryptic phone conversation with an associate, ordering him to begin preparations for a spectacular strike against a Jewish target somewhere in Germany. The attack should be planned for “a big square where a lot of people gather,” said the man, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He also told the associate to obtain a “mute,” code for a gun with a silencer, and to gather “Russian apples,” code for Russian-made hand grenades. Shadi Abdullah, a 26-year-old Jordanian, was the man on the other end of the phone line. He was arrested shortly after the conversation on April 2 in the western German town of Krefeld. Mr. Zarqawi, a Jordanian described by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell as the most important link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, remains at large. But Mr. Abdullah has since his arrest provided intelligence authorities with a wealth of information about Qaeda operations in Europe and elsewhere. American and European intelligence officials described Mr. Abdullah in recent interviews as one of the most credible and useful Qaeda informers in Europe. They said that in addition to providing counterterrorism officials with details like the meanings of code words used in taped conversations, he had laid out a road map of the network’s capabilities and intentions and explained how the hierarchy was rebuilt after the death or capture of Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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