Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Sunni Jordanian militant, was considered by the US the most wanted man in Iraq for role in kidnappings, hostage executions, beheadings, and suicide bombings which reportedly left thousands dead. Zaraqawi had run a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan in the 1990’s, and eventually allied with Osama Bin Laden in 2004. He founded the al-Tawhid wal-Jihad militant group that eventually became Iraq’s al-Qaeda’s wing, which he led. He is attributed with giving renewed prominence to al-Qaeda after its members largely went into hiding following September 11th. As leader of the group in Iraq, Zarqawi helped bring new militants to Iraq via Syria to fight US troops and their allies. In 2005, following a US-led offensive on the Sunni insurgency in Tal-Afar, he declared an all-out war on Shi’ites and US forces. The same year, he was responsible for the bombing of three hotels in Amman, Jordan. He was targeted and killed in a US airstrike in 2006, though a $25 million reward had been offered to anyone who could capture or kill him.