Al-Arabiya television reports it has identified the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the network broadcast his photograph.

The Dubai-based network, citing an Iraqi police official, said the real name of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who allegedly heads the Islamic State of Iraq, is Hamid Dawoud al-Zawi.

Originally from Haditha, al-Baghdadi served in the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein, then joined Al Qaeda in 2003, the police official told Al-Arabiya.

The U.S. has described al-Baghdadi as a fictitious character.