BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – The U.S. military command Thursday released previously unseen images of a video purportedly posted by al-Qaida in Iraq’s leader, showing him decked out in American tennis shoes and unable to operate his machine gun.
The video, discovered in a series of raids in April on purported al-Qaida in Iraq safe houses in the Youssifiyah area, 12 miles southwest of Baghdad, gave a view of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that the Jordanian-born militant chose not to show the world, said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, spokesman for the U.S. command.
Al-Zarqawi is “very proud of the fact that he can operate this machine gun, and he proclaims that, and all of his close associates are very proud of what Zarqawi does,” Lynch said in a briefing in which he played a snippet from the video posted by militants on April 25.
But as the previously unseen video was shown, Lynch mocked al-Zarqawi, suggesting his weapon jammed and he was unable to fix it.
“It’s supposed to be automatic fire, he’s shooting single shots. Something is wrong with his machine gun, he looks down, can’t figure out, calls his friend to come unblock the stoppage and get the weapon firing again,” Lynch said.
“This piece you all see as he walks away, he’s wearing his black uniform and his New Balance tennis shoes as he moves to this white pickup. And, his close associates around him … do things like grab the hot barrel of the machine gun and burn themselves,” the military spokesman added.
We’ve also made the video available on YouTube