While being held captive by American forces, the leader of an Iraqi terrorist group told his captors that he would "see (them) in New York," according to ABC News on Monday. Although experts now believe that the remark was nothing more than a joke, it is making citizens in NYC (New York City) uneasy, especially as tensions in the Persian Gulf escalate and American troops once again are heading to Iraq.
The Iraqi leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was held captive by Americans from 2004 to 2009. When al-Baghdadi, whose actual name is Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, was released in 2009, he returned to battle in Iraq alongside al Qaeda. Al-Baghdadi was named leader of his terrorist group in 2010. Al-Baghdadi's terrorist group then broke ties with al Qaeda and al-Baghdadi named it the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).
According to Army Col. Kenneth King, who was the commander at Camp Bucca where al-Baghdad was detained, al-Baghdadi jokingly said the following as he was being released in 2009:
"I'll see you guys in New York."
King believes that al-Baghdadi was joking because many of the guards at Camp Bucca were NYC police and fire fighters. King said that al-Baghdadi knew this and was making reference to it when he cracked the joke.
Although al-Baghdadi supposedly was joking when he made the remark, his remark weighs heavily on Americans because of escalating aggression by the ISIS insurgents in Iraq and persistent threats to Baghdad, Iraq's capital.
King's statement is contradicted by a U.S. official who claims that Baghdadi actually was not being held captive in 2009, had been released as early as 2006, and had "resumed his activities" upon release. When confronted with the official's claims, King reiterated his assurance that it was al-Baghdadi who made the comment as he was being released in 2009:
"I could be mistaken, but I am 99 percent. He's a dead ringer for the guy I had a run-in with... His face is very familiar."