Iraq: Al-Zarqawi brother-in-law 'made Al-Qaeda leader in Diyala'

Baghdad, 1 Oct. (AKI) - The brother-in-law of Al-Qaeda in Iraq's late leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been appointed head of the terror network in eastern Diyala province, unnamed security sources were cited as telling pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.

Sami al-Daini, was appointed the head of the Al-Qaeda umbrella group the Islamic State of Iraq by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to the sources.

"This is just the latest of a series of changes made by the heads of Al-Qaeda in Iraq who have replaced their local chiefs in many cities," a source was cited as telling Al-Hayat.

In the past few months, 27 Al-Qaeda chiefs have been arrested by Iraqi security forces or have surrendered to them, prompting the terror network to promote several "trusted" stalwarts, according to the sources.

Al-Daini is known for his radical views and his appointment signals a "dangerous shift towards the most extreme violence," the source added.

There has been a recent spike in violence in northern Iraq and elsewhere in the country as insurgents have stepped up assaults amid a power vacuum.

Iraq's political forces have failed to form a new government after the March parliamentary elections and in August the US withdrew combat troops from the country in August.


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