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.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.
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.
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.