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al-Zarqawi Dead Again?

The Jerusalem Post and DEBKAfile are reporting that forensic experts are examining remains that may be those of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq terror group. From the Jerusalem Post:

The Elaph Arab media website reported on Sunday that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq terror group, may have been killed in Iraq on Sunday afternoon when eight terrorists blew themselves up in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The unconfirmed report claimed that the explosions occurred while coalition forces surrounded the house in which al-Zarqawi was hiding. American and Iraqi forces are looking into the report.

DEBKAfile claims US forces and forensic experts are examining the bodies of eight high-ranking al Qaeda leaders in Mosul to find out if their chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is among them. The US has samples of al-Zarqawi 's DNA for comparisons.

This isn't the first time that al-Zarqawi has reportedly been killed, so these initial reports should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. If al-Zarqawi is still alive one this is for cetain... his Jordanian family has, just this weekend, disowned him.

One fact in support of the theory that al-Zarqawi's luck may have finally run out is the vow from Jordan's King Abdullah II to "take the fight" to to the Jordanian born al-Zarqawi, who the Jordanian authorities have identified as the mastermind behind the deadly hotel bombings in Jordan November 9th. With active engagement from Jordan's security and intelligence forces it's not hard to believe that al-Zarqawi's location could have been pinpointed.

Stay tuned for further developments...

Update (5:00 PM EST): AP picks up the story... Still no confirmation of al-Zarqawi's death, but US official confirms, "There are efforts under way to determine if he was killed."

Update 2 (10:30 PM EST): The White House said that it was "highly unlikely" that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among the dead.


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Comments (14)

I sometimes suspect these r... (Below threshold)
John:

I sometimes suspect these reports are meant to help force Zarqawi (or Osama) to show himself to dispell the rumors. If this isn't true, I hope it (or his capture) is made true sometime shortly after.

One wonders if al-Zarqawi's... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

One wonders if al-Zarqawi's incredibly stupid attacks in Jordan prompted one of his Jordanian contacts to flip. Timing is right.

The first lesson in politics is, don't antagonize your base. In this case it may have been fatal.

The Jordan attacks were ... (Below threshold)

The Jordan attacks were extremely stupid, strategically.

One thing the Jordanians have going for them is a good intelligence agency, with hooks into most of the underside of the Mideast (including a lot of access that we've never had bafore).

I think we're going to see a lot of sudden captures and kills between now and January...

Debka has also killed OBL s... (Below threshold)

Debka has also killed OBL several times. However, this time it looks like it may be for real. I'm following events here.

Another reason to be scepti... (Below threshold)

Another reason to be sceptical is because DEBKAfile is not known for being reliable.

OregonMuse, that was the po... (Below threshold)

OregonMuse, that was the point I was trying to make about Debka, that they've had him "killed" several times over the last couple of years. That's why I've been watching this one closely.

Currently Yahoo News is running Zarqawi as the front story.

I believe his recent "black... (Below threshold)
EXDemocrat:

I believe his recent "blackmail" of Jordan may have been what doomed his fate.

DEBKAfile has buried... (Below threshold)
ats:


DEBKAfile has buried so many alleged HAMAS "top lieutenants" that one wonders if there were any simple soldiers. Ditto for DEBKA on Zarqawi.
Debka, MEMRI and Campus watch are of a piece. Sharonista agents, not worth the time to refute.

Didn't al-Zarqawi just vow ... (Below threshold)
George:

Didn't al-Zarqawi just vow to kill somebody?
How ironic.
I guess al-Zarqawi won't be getting down to
that part of his "to do" list now.

Oh, he did more than threat... (Below threshold)
EXDemocrat:

Oh, he did more than threaten to cut the King's head off.

1. Jordan must expel forthwith all American and British military forces. DEBKAfile adds: several thousand US troops are based in the Hashemite kingdom, including special forces defending the Jordanian-Iraqi border from both sides. US air force personnel fly helicopter and fighter aircraft missions against terrorist targets in Iraq from Jordanian air bases. American troops in Iraq receive supplies from rear bases in the kingdom. US tankers regularly dock at Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba with fuel supplies for the American army in Iraq. They are escorted by US warships. The British forces in Iraq are mostly Royal Air Force units.

2. Jordan must close the Israeli embassy in Amman.

3. The training of Iraqi police contingents in Jordan must cease. They are given courses at facilities especially set up in the kingdom. Jordanian instructors drill new Iraqi recruits.

4. Jordan must shut down prison facilities holding Iraqi inmates.

5. The Jordanian embassy in Baghdad must close and its staff withdrawn from Iraq

http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=1271

National Lampoon used to ha... (Below threshold)
profligatewaste:

National Lampoon used to have this running gag concerning Gen. Franco of Spain. From time-to-time they would publish a photo of him with a cartoon balloon that said, "I'm not dead yet!" or something to that effect. Maybe they should start doing the same thing with Zarqawi and Osama.

I know it would not be the ... (Below threshold)
Elmo:

I know it would not be the best PR move in some quarters. But, if they got the garden slug this time? I'd love to see them parade his head on a stick, down a public thoroughfare.

Profligatewaste,I ... (Below threshold)
John Pearson:

Profligatewaste,

I believe the Franco bit was from Saturday Night Live in the mid-70's. Chevy Chase on Weekend Update would say "This just in... Generalisimo Francisco Franco is STILL dead. The gag was funny (?) because Franco was on the verge of death for about two months before finally expiring. Every night, Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, and Frank Reynolds would update the story, "General Franco still alive".

The Washington Post has mor... (Below threshold)
John Pearson:

The Washington Post has more information for the Monday edition including an official laying odds of Zarqawi being dead at 30%. See the story at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/20/AR2005112000110_pf.html




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