Interpol said on Wednesday it had issued the so-called Red Notice at the request of Algeria, which wants Zarqawi arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of two Algerian diplomats in Iraq in July.

   

"This will decrease the likelihood that such a notorious suspect will be able to evade detection"" Ronald K. Noble, Interpol secretary-general, said in a statement from the organisation's headquarters in Lyon, France.

   

"This will decrease the likelihood that such a notorious suspect will be able to evade detection"

Ronald K. Noble,
Interpol secretary-general

Interpol's Red Notices are distributed to its 184 member countries, requesting police forces around the world to place suspects like Zarqawi under arrest pending extradition.

   

The notice, an abridged version of which Interpol placed on its website (www.interpol.int), shows Zarqawi in various guises.

 

Jordanian-born Zarqawi is Washington's most wanted man in Iraq, with a $25 million US reward on his head.

  

Zarqawi, whose real name is Ahmed Fadhil al-Khalayleh, is also wanted by authorities in Jordan. He claimed responsibility for suicide bomb attacks on luxury Amman hotels on 9 November which killed more than 50 people.

   

Jordan's state security court handed Zarqawi his third death sentence in absentia earlier this month for planning a failed suicide attack at the border post with Iraq.

   

He was released from jail in 1999 as part of a general royal pardon by the Jordanian monarch.