The Iraqi arm of al-Qaeda, led by Abu Musab a-Zarqawi, executed Egyptian ambassador to Iraq Ihab al-Sharif, who also did a diplomatic stint in Israel.
An Islamic Web site, which identifies with the group, released Thursday a video that claimed, “The mujahiddin executed the judgment of Allah on the ambassador of the heretics.”
Sharif was kidnapped Sunday in Baghdad when he got out of his car to buy a newspaper. The group threatened to kill him, but unlike with foreigners, the terrorists did not show the execution.
The group announced, “We, the al-Qaeda group in Iraq, declare that we executed the judgment of Allah on the ambassador of the heretics, the ambassador of Egypt.”
The video clips threatened other diplomats, and accused Egypt of being an ally of the Jews and Christians.
“The time has come to take our revenge for our brothers and Islam against criminal Egypt,” it said.
Recently, the ambassadors of Bahrain and Pakistan escaped assassination attempts.
The Zarqawi group is trying to intimidate foreign diplomats, especially Arab diplomats, from coming to Iraq. However, the plan ran aground when Jordan announced that it still plans to announce a new ambassador to Iraq.
Still, it is not clear if Egypt will appoint a replacement for Sharif so quickly.
There is a common belief in both the Arab world and in diplomatic circles that al-Qaeda is being helped by agents within the Iraqi defense establishment, which would explain the insurgents’ accurate strikes.