PESHAWAR, April 21: Marwan Hadid Al-Suri, killed in an encounter with law-enforcers in the Bajaur tribal region on Thursday, was Al Qaeda’s bagman who looked after families of his senior colleagues fighting against the US-led forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, a senior security official said.
A diary with Arabic noting recovered from the possession of 38-year-old Al-Suri contained a list of families of senior Al Qaeda operatives who received regular cash handouts.
Amongst the recipients of cash handouts were families of Abu Musab Zarqawi, Al Qaeda’s head in Iraq, Hadi al-Iraqi and Abu Ikhlas.
The list did not give their locations but it did mention paying $2,500 per family on a three-month basis. In addition, according to the list, each family was paid $500 per kid per three months.
“This is quite a substantial amount. I reckon the period was so stretched to avoid frequent contacts for security reason and keep track of family who constantly change their locations to avoid detection,” a security official said.
Jordanian militant Abu Musab Zarqawi is known to have stayed in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and 2001. Security officials believe that Zarqawi had remained in the restive Waziristan region before moving to Iraq.
Many Al Qaeda operatives, who had come to take part in the so-called Afghan Jihad, had married Afghan or Pakistani women and have children from them. The families, hunted by security agencies for ties to Al Qaeda, are also on the run and keep shifting their abodes.
Marwan, the security official said, had married a girl in Jalalabad, Afghanistan’s eastern town, but had moved his family to Bajaur on the orders of his seniors to carry out operations against US-led allied forces in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province.
The Syrian-born Hadid, who carried the nom de guerre of Abu Marwan, had trained in explosives at Al-Farooq camp in Khost and was lately believed to be operating as an instructor/trainer for other militants in Bajaur. He was also believed to have dealt in chemical weapons.
Another diary recovered from Marwan’s possession contained details and diagrams of bomb circuits and chemicals used to manufacture explosives, including TNT and plastic C-4 explosives. There were four hand grenades and a pistol with him, the official said.
Also recovered from him was an audio tape of the funerals of Damadola (Bajaur) victims, killed in a US air strike in early January.
Marwan’s body had been brought to Peshawar and a DNA test was being done to confirm his identity, one official said.
In Peshawar, Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao confirmed Marwan’s death and termed it a big achievement. “This is a big achievement because he was an Al-Qaeda’s explosives’ expert,” he told journalists.
Marwan’s death comes at the heel of the reported killing of Mohsin Musa Mutawali Atwah alias Abdur Rehman Al-Suri in an air raid in North Waziristan last week.
The minister, however, refused to confirm or deny Atwah’s death. “I can neither confirm nor deny it,” he said.