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Jordan Scores Big


The security forces and King of Jordan are breathing a lot easier today, the number one name on their most wanted list has been eliminated and they are not faced with tribal unrest as a result.

Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalaylehof of the Beni Hassan tribe of Bedouin [AKA Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] has died and the government cannot be tied to his death. Even though the al-Khalaylehof clan had disowned him after the bombing in Amman, some in the clan might have felt obliged to revenge the death. It could have gotten messy as the Beni Hassan Bedouin are 10% of the Jordanian population.

Taking his nom de bomb from his native city and state, Zarqa, Zarqawi’s stated goal was to “purify” the Islamic governments, beginning with Jordan. He claimed to be a Salafi Muslim which is about as fundamental as it gets.

His relationship with bin Laden was rather strained. Bin Laden has a larger viewpoint and wants to attack the “enemy” on his own turf, while Zarqawi felt that the Islamic governments must be purified before anything else. They came together in their agreement that foreign elements must be expelled from the Islamic world.

In military terms, Zarqawi’s organization was a battalion of a few hundred members at it’s largest. He would rank as a major or lieutenant colonel at most in a regular army. His effect was magnified by his totally ruthless tactics. It is very likely that those tactics are responsible for his death, as he was making enemies wholesale by killing the innocent. His clan renounced him to avoid being entangled in the revenge his actions required among the tribal groups.

The Shi’ia will breathe easier with this death, because he considered them heretics who needed to be removed to “purify” Islam.


1 Steve Bates { 06.09.06 at 9:37 am }

Thanks for the explanation, Bryan. This kind of post is one of many things that keep me coming back to your site.

And I’d never heard “nom de bomb” before… good one. I did, however, once long ago, in some very bad doggerel, rhyme “Zarqawi” with “why the farqawi…”

2 Bryan { 06.09.06 at 12:30 pm }

In the Middle East you have to establish clan associations and their importance first.

Zarqawi was always a Jordanian problem, and if he hadn’t had the connections, Jordan would have executed him. The people who get executed have to be expelled from their clan first to avoid internal conflicts.

The guy was not all that intelligent, but he was a true believer and inspired others. The association with al Qaeda was political and a recruiting tool, not a reasoned alliance.

The Amman bombing was probably the turning point. The clan expulsion affected his ability to remain hidden, because the clans are not restricted by national boundaries and there are Iraqis in his clan who would feel obligated to help him.

I would guess that the Jordanians fed the information to the US that pin-pointed his location. Neither the US nor the Iraqis have the trust of the people who could provide the information.

3 The CultureGhost { 06.09.06 at 11:46 pm }

Like Steve said, your stuff is always informative and fascinating! This is why I’m getting more and more of my real news from great sites like yours.

4 Bryan { 06.10.06 at 12:07 am }

Well, CG, the taxpayers paid for my education and training, both directly and through the GI Bill. I’m happy that individuals find the information worthwhile.

Kudos on your art show awards. It is difficult to get recognition for art at civic fairs that doesn’t involve children with large eyes.