Al-Zarqawi's cell phone reportedly yields surprises


Monday, July 3, 2006 Posted: 1138 GMT (1938 HKT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had the phone numbers of senior Iraqi officials stored in his cell phone, according to an Iraqi legislator.

Waiel Abdul-Latif, a member of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's party, said Monday that authorities found the numbers after al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. air strike on June 7.

Abdul-Latif did not give names of the officials. But he said they included ministry employees and members of parliament.

He called for an investigation, saying Iraqis "cannot have one hand with the government and another with the terrorists."

Meanwhile, al-Zarqawi's wife told an Italian newspaper that al Qaeda leaders sold him out to the United States in exchange for a promise to let up in the search for Osama bin Laden.

The woman, identified by La Repubblica as al-Zarqawi's first wife, said al Qaeda's top leadership reached a deal with U.S. intelligence because al Zarqawi had become too powerful.

She claimed Sunni tribes and Jordanian secret services mediated the deal.

"My husband has been sold to the Americans," the woman said in an interview published Sunday. "He had become too powerful, too troublesome."

She was identified only as "Um Mohammed," which means "mother of Mohammed" and would be a nickname, not her full name.

The Rome-based newspaper said the interview was conducted in Geneva and described her as Jordanian and about 40 years old.

In Jordan, Al-Zarqawi's eldest brother, Sayel al-Khalayleh, said the family had not been aware of the woman's whereabouts for about two years.

Iraq's national security adviser said Sunday that al-Zarqawi had been buried in a "secret location" in Baghdad despite his family's demand that the body be returned to his native Jordan.

Mouwafak al-Rubaie would not say when the Jordanian-born militant was buried, or give any specifics on the location of the grave.

The U.S. military confirmed the burial but declined to give details.

"The remains of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi were turned over to the appropriate government of Iraq officials and buried in accordance with Muslim customs and traditions," the military said in an e-mailed statement. "Anything further than that would be addressed by the Iraqi government."

Al-Zarqawi's brother demanded that his body be transferred to Jordan, and accused the United States of lying.

"Bush took his body to the United States," al-Khalayleh told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his home in the Jordanian city of Zarqa.

"Even if he is buried in Iraq, we will continue to ask for the body to be transferred and buried in Jordan," he said. "He should be buried in his own country."