116 Beheadings in the Name of Islam
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi security forces have arrested a suspect in the 2004 kidnapping and beheading of a Japanese backpacker, officials said Thursday.
The Interior Ministry identified the suspect as Hussein Fahmi, a 28-year-old al-Qaida in Iraq operative arrested over two months ago in western Baghdad. Fahmi confessed to carrying out 116 beheadings, including that of 24-year-old Japanese backpacker Shosei Koda, ministry official Maj. Raid al-Mafraji said.
Fahmi, who is of Egyptian and Palestinian descent, was captured by the Interior Ministry’s counterinsurgency Wolf Brigade after a tip from local residents, al-Mafraji said. “We managed to arrest three other terrorists with him and seized a huge amount of weapons,” he said.
Japan’s chief Cabinet secretary, Shinzo Abe, said Tokyo had not yet received confirmation from Iraqi authorities of the arrest.
Koda was killed by militants in October 2004 after Japan refused to bow to their demands and pull its troops out of Iraq. His decapitated body was found wrapped in an American flag in a Baghdad street.
Al-Qaida in Iraq, led by the country’s most wanted terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and beheading in a Web posting that included a gruesome video of the killing.