Zarqawi sets up Al-Qaeda web in UK
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, has set up a new terror network in Britain, which is recruiting young Muslim fanatics, officials told The Sunday Times.india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 16:26 IST
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, has set up a new terror network in Britain, which is recruiting young Muslim fanatics to fight coalition troops, a media report saidon Sunday.
Zarqawi established the group to recruit and train would-be suicide bombers and gunmen, counter-terrorism officials told The Sunday Times.
The new group, Ansar al-Fath (Partisans of Victory) is an offshoot of Ansar al-Islam, an organisation that is to be banned under new anti-terror rules announced by Home Secretary Charles Clarke last week.
Ansar al-Fath provides logistical support to foreign fighters in Iraq and uses the internet to find new recruits for Zarqawi.
Government officials say a "steady trickle" of about 70 young Muslim men have travelled to Iraq from Britain the past two years.
They warn that some newly trained "professional jihadists" have returnedto UK and may be planning attacks.
The American government has offered $25 million for Zarqawi's capture, dead or alive, the same as the bounty for Osama bin Laden.
Zarqawi was implicated in the beheading in Iraq last September of Ken Bigley, a British contractor.
First Published: Feb 16, 2006 16:26 IST