Iraqi Court to Try Al Qaeda Militant Accused of Coordinating Hundreds of Baghdad Attacks

An Al Qaeda insurgent who allegedly helped plan hundreds of bombings in the Baghdad area and beheaded two Russian hostages will soon be face trial in an Iraqi court, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

Omar Wahdallah Dad, also known as Abu Nur and "the Spider," has been in U.S. custody since December and will be tried under Iraq's anti-terrorism law, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell told reporters.

Abu Nur could receive the death penalty, Caldwell said.

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Caldwell said Abu Nur has admitted to a role in 800 to 900 bombings while serving as a senior Al Qaeda commander in the Baghdad area. The general said Abu Nur led a network responsible for some of the deadliest attacks in the capital, including one last year in the Shiite slum of Sadr City in which more than 200 people died.

He said the Abu Nur admitted responsibility for the June 2006 kidnapping and murder of four Russian diplomats. Abu Nur is accused of personally beheading two of the Russians, the general said.

An umbrella organization of seven insurgent groups, including Al Qaeda in Iraq, posted a Web video showing the graphic killings of three Russian embassy workers who had been abducted in Iraq. The 90-second video showed two blindfolded men beheaded and the shooting of a third man.

In the footage, two men clad in black and wearing black ski masks shout "God is great!" before beheading the first man. Then one militant appears standing over the decapitated body of a second victim in a pool of blood, with the head placed on top of the body.

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