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Omar al Farouq Killed in Iraq
Southeast Asia Al-Quaeda leader died in clash with British troops
Aloysius Wisnuhardana (wisnuhard)     Print Article 
Published 2006-09-27 19:00 (KST)   
One of the most wanted men in southeast Asia, Omar al Farouq, who is believed to have been a southeast Asia Al-Qaeda leader, was killed in Basra, Iraq, on Monday after clashing with around 200 British troops. He was shot dead after refusing to be arrested. U.S. authorities in Iraq said that they would be waiting for forensic test results before confirming this information.

But his wife, Mira Agustina, an Indonesian woman who lived in Bogor, West Java, still has faith that her husband is alive, despite the fact that the head of the National Intelligence Agency General Syamsir Siregar has confirmed that Farouq was undoubtly killed in Iraq. Syamsir explained that Farouq was able to reach Iraq because he escaped from an Afghanistan jail.

Farouq's wife is living with her two children and her parents. She was very shocked when she received the news, which she first heard from TV journalists who came to her house at 4.00 a.m., and reacted by almost fainting. Her oldest child, a 6-year-old, also believes that Farouq is still alive.

Mira said that if her husband has died she would like the Indonesian government to bring his body into Indonesia. Her lawyer could not give her the kind of information she needed and just sent an SMS to her telling her to pray for her husband.

Omar al Farouq a.k.a Farouq al Kuwaity, 35-years-old, was Iraqi although he was born in Kuwait. He is believed to have played important roles in Al-Qaeda operations in southeast Asia for many years. In 1995 he entered the Philippines and joined the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mindanao.

After joining in Mindanao, his career in the Al-Qaeda networks rapidly took him to the top, and many believe that until he was arrested Farouq was a significant figure who connected Al-Qaeda with militant organizations and networks in southeast Asia, helping them realize their plans across the region.

He was believed to be the mastermind behind a series of church bombings in 2000, and attacks on many embassies and U.S. facilities in southeast Asia. In addition he is thought to have had a plan to kill Megawati Soekarnoputri when she was serving as Indonesian president.

He married Mira Agustina in 1999 but three years later Indonesia's National Intelligence Agency arrested him in Bogor, after he had successfully planned and led attacks on the Philippines embassy in Jakarta, and a series of church bombings during the Christmas celebrations in 1999 and 2000.

Initially the Indonesian government wanted to judge Farouq's crimes in an Indonesian court, but U.S. authorities urged Indonesia to send Farouq to them. Then Farouq was handed-over by the Indonesian government to the U.S. government and jailed in Bagram, Afghanistan.

After three years in Bagram, Farouq and three other prisoners escaped from Bagram jail on July 10, 2005 and joined the Taliban to fight against the U.S military over there. There is no report of how he managed to reach Iraq and his death.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Aloysius Wisnuhardana

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