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Key al Qaeda leader in US custody

One of the most important field operatives for al Qaeda has been captured. Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi is in the thick of the terrorist network from plotting assassinations to directing cross-border attacks on Afghanistan from Pakistan, and was en route to take over operations in Iraq when captured.

Reuters reports:


An Iraqi al Qaeda member accused of assassination plots against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and other attacks was transferred by the CIA to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo this week, the Pentagon said on Friday.


Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi was also accused of commanding al Qaeda's paramilitary operations in Afghanistan and launching attacks on U.S. and coalition forces from Pakistan, the Defense Department said.

Al-Hadi was detained trying to get back into Iraq to "manage al Qaeda's affairs" there, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

The Pentagon would not say when he was captured.


Read the full story at the above link. Most interesting is the announcement. The usual practice with "high value" al Qaeda members is to keep their capture under wraps if possible, so as not to alert the network to change its practices before the detainee talks.

He's being transferred to Gitmo, unless the Democrats in Congress can arrange his release on probation first.


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Comments (26)

looks like Harry Reid is go... (Below threshold)
David:

looks like Harry Reid is going to have to find someone wlse to surrender to.

Is this a number four guy? ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Is this a number four guy? Or another number three?

Good thing that they've captured this scum; everyone involved in the capture should be commended. I hope this changes the situation in Iraq for the better.

So. It's Friday, and the Pe... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

So. It's Friday, and the Pentagon leaks word that a top al-Qaeda operative has been captured. Or, actually, that he was captured last year, but that he's just been transferred from the custody of the CIA to DoD. Wait, that's not quite right. He was transferred earlier in the week. But still. It's important news. Right?
Only here's the thing. When you have a story like this, you don't release it on a Friday. There's nothing time-critical about it. There's no reason to squander the positive headlines on the slowest media day of the week.

Maybe you've already heard something. Or maybe we'll get the word in the next few hours. But I can't think of a surer sign that the administration will be releasing some information later today that it would rather we all ignored. Who knows? It could be a post-Gonzales testimony DoJ document dump. It might be word of another probe into Rove. Maybe the RNC will be turning over some e-mails. But you can take it to the bank - something's coming down the pike. From TPM

YOU CAN ONLY HOPE SO BARN.<... (Below threshold)

YOU CAN ONLY HOPE SO BARN.

You are sadly mistaken. It... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

You are sadly mistaken. It is not the Democrats that think capturing terrorists is waste of time. It is the Republicans.

"It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person," Mitt Romney on OBL 4/26/07

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/04/26/politics/p131443D20.DTL&type=politics

Al-Hadi couldn't possibly b... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Al-Hadi couldn't possibly be heading to Iraq to "manage al Qaeda's affairs". Al Qaeda has nothing to do with Iraq.

[Cynicism meter reading a perfect 10 out of 10.]

If true, great! Let's get O... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

If true, great! Let's get Osama next!

If true, great! Let's ge... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

If true, great! Let's get Osama next!

Yup! Get OBL and the War On Islamofacism will be over! Ding dong the withc is dead! Come home troops! Throw a parade! Game over! Woo-hoo!


We now take you back to our regularly scheduled dose of reality...

Peter F -I don't g... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Peter F -

I don't get your point. You LIKE Osama?

Barney, Barney, Barney. Ne... (Below threshold)

Barney, Barney, Barney. Nevermind.

The point, Publicus, is tha... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

The point, Publicus, is that only a liar, an idiot, or a Democrat could claim that capturing ObL defined victory.

I don't get your point.<... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I don't get your point.

No surprise there.

Is this one of the 20-odd "... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Is this one of the 20-odd "number two" al-Qaeda guys?

Break out the electrodes and start filling the waterboarding tub, let's get seriously medieval on this Islamo-MF! Yee-Hah boys! Gimme enough voltage and I'll have this guy quoting Bible scripture in 48 hours. By next week he'll have confessed to the OJ murders, de-flowering the Bush twins and being the real guy who made the perverted phone sex calls to Andrea Mackris, instead of Bill-O.

BTW, al_Qaeda is in Iraq because we invited them in the moment we began occupying a sovereign Muslim country. Before 9-11, before the US invasion? Just another neocon wet dream.

"The point, Publicus, is th... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

"The point, Publicus, is that only a liar, an idiot, or a Democrat could claim that capturing ObL defined victory."

Who made that claim? Did your read what I wrote?

BTW, al_Qaeda is in Iraq... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

BTW, al_Qaeda is in Iraq because we invited them in the moment we began occupying a sovereign Muslim country...

From the 9/11 Commission report:
To protect his own ties with Iraq, [Sudan's Islamist leader] Turabi reportedly brokered an agreement that bin Ladin would stop supporting activities against Saddam. Bin Laden apparently honored this pledge, at least for a time, although he continued to aid a group of Islamist extremists operating in a part of Iraq (Kurdistan) outside of Baghdad's control. In the late 1990s, these extremist groups suffered major defeats by Kurdish forces. In 2001, with Bin Ladin's help they re-formed into an organization called Ansar al Islam.

That's 2001. Not 2002 or 2003 or 2004. 2001.

And from the CIA: ..."Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appears to be overseeing the operations of al-Qa'ida members in Kurdish-controlled Iraq. AFTER arriving in Iraq sometime in January/February 2002.

Oops.

Perhaps you'd also like to refute the US Senate Select Committee on Intellgence and the "Senate Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq:, September 2006 in which Saddam knew of, but did not comply or approve of Ansar al-Islam presense and operations in northeastern Iraq. But without friggin' question al-Qaeda was present in Iraq, pre-invasion. All the report concluded was that Saddam's Iraq Intelligence Service "attempted to collect intelligence on the group". That's it. Not kick them out. Not attack them. Just collect intel.

Just another silly "neocon wetdream" probably.

Probably. Definitely. Noodl... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Probably. Definitely. Noodling around in Kurdistan hardly translates into a threat severe enough to justify launching the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history. Why don't you compile a list of all the other countries that probably had some level of al-Quaeda activity in 2001 and enlighten us as to why THEY weren't targeted for invasion and regime change?

Two thoughts:None ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Two thoughts:

None of them had as loose of a cannon on deck, in the heart of the Middle East, as did Iraq.

The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, signed by one President William Jefferson Clinton.

'Nuff said.

Apparent Liberal Contradiction Moment #1,349:

...the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history.

Wait, I thought that distinction belonged Vietnam. Hmm, I guess we're arbitrarily reassigning distinctions to suit our rhetoric now, aren't we.

I'll give you this much: You do know your liberal talking points, groucho. B ut so much for "don't-listen-to-da-Man!", independent thinking.

"...the biggest foreign pol... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

"...the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history.

Wait, I thought that distinction belonged Vietnam."

Records are made to be broken.

Records are made to be b... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Records are made to be broken.

And you're a broken one.

only a liar, an idiot, o... (Below threshold)
Brian:

only a liar, an idiot, or a Democrat could claim that capturing ObL defined victory.

For someone who believes that capturing even ObL himself wouldn't be valuable, there sure is a lot of jubilation over the capture of some "field operative" a year ago.

And you're a broken one.... (Below threshold)
Brian:

And you're a broken one.

Now that's funny!

As usual Brian, you think y... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

As usual Brian, you think you're being ironic and cryptically clever/mildly humorous when, in actually, your comment is just lackluster and, worst of all, fails to see the sadness and inhumanity in its own logic.

Al Queda was in Arizona, Mi... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Al Queda was in Arizona, Minneapolis, Florida, New York, Germany, Spain, England, Indonesia, Philipines, Italy,Saude Arabia, Iran, Afganistan. Before 9/11 they were everywhere BUT Iraq according to the dimmers. See how they play? ww

Well I guess in retrospect ... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Well I guess in retrospect it was the ones taking flying lessons in this country that we SHOULD have been worried about, not the few in Kurdistan that were being ignored by Saddam.

In terms of casualties Iraq will hopefully never surpass Vietnam, but in terms of sheer strategic blundering and the subsequent regional/global damage I think Iraq will, some day, be viewed as worse. Of course, I would never expect the any die-hard Bush loyalists to accept that, ever.

your comment is just lac... (Below threshold)
Brian:

your comment is just lackluster and, worst of all, fails to see the sadness and inhumanity in its own logic.

Wow, with such reasoned arguments, how can I possibly not come around to your way of thinking?!

I wonder how many secret ci... (Below threshold)
jeff:

I wonder how many secret cia torture prisons in eastern europe Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi has spent time in? It's all good though, the moral superiority if the USA is long gone anyway.




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