Saturday, September 15


The cyber avatar Sheikh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of Virtual Al-Qaeda in Iraq, has called for the murder of artist Lars Vilks and newspaper editor Ulf Johansson.

The organization also threatened to target Ericsson, Scania, Volvo, IKEA and Electrolux unless an apology is forthcoming for their publication of a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a dog.

Swedish authorities are analyzing the tape to determine who Sheikh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi is and whether he really exists as a flesh-and-blood person, apart from his existence as a computer-generated avatar. [afp/tt/local]

Nerikes Allehanda, the Swedish newspaper,
published the cartoon on Aug 19th.

"No photo has ever appeared of al-Baghdadi, whom the U.S. describes as a fictitious character used to give an Iraqi face to an organization dominated by foreigners.

The U.S. has said that under interrogation, a top al-Qaida member revealed that al-Baghdadi's speeches are read by an actor." [ap/e&p]