November 20, 2005

Dead Again?

Via Little Green Footballs and The Jawa Report, there are now three different reports (via sources of varying credibility) that the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq (and arguably the real power in al Qaeda since Osama Bin Laden is only communicating with mountain goats and Yetis on a regular basis) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may have died today after blowing himself up once he found himself surrounded by U.S and Iraqi forces.

Via LGF we have this report from the Jerusalem Post:

At least one Arab television media outlet reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed in Iraq on Sunday afternoon when eight terrorists blew themselves up in the in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The unconfirmed report claimed that the explosions occurred after coalition forces surrounded the house in which al-Zarqawi was hiding.

The Jawa Report has more. Via DEBKAfile:

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.

A sample of his DNA is in American possession for a match-up.

The bodies they are trying to identify are of 7 men and one woman, who blew themselves up Sunday, Nov. 20, after their hideout in northern Iraq was under siege by a large US force, backed by tanks and helicopters. The bodies are burned black and unrecognizable. Four Iraqi security officers were killed and 10 injured in the operation.

Israeli News source Ynet News is also reporting a similar version of events.

If this is true, (and that is a big if) then the insurgency in Iraq will lose a figurehead and suffer a severe psychological loss.

If al-Zarqawi did survive, things may not be much better. His own family has renounced him, and some family members have stated that they wouldn't hesitate to kill him.

Dead or currently alive, I don't think he'll have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Update: Associated Press is now reporting that:

U.S. forces sealed off a house in the northern city of Mosul where eight suspected al-Qaida members died in a gunfight — some by their own hand to avoid capture. A U.S. official said Sunday that efforts were under way to determine if terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among the dead.

Lending more credibility to this theory is this bit of information:

During the intense gunbattle that followed, three insurgents detonated explosives and killed themselves to avoid capture, Iraqi officials said. Eleven Americans were wounded, the U.S. military said. Such intense resistance often suggests an attempt to defend a high-value target.

American soldiers controlled the site Sunday, and residents said helicopters flew over the area throughout the day. Some residents said the tight security was reminiscent of the July 2003 operation in which Saddam Hussein's sons, Odai and Qusai, were killed in Mosul.

If it is true that the security around this site beyond what is ordinary for other post-combat scenes, it would lend some credibility to the theory that this is a site of some importance.

Time--and DNA tests--will tell.

Correction: YnetNews was previously and incorrectly identified as an Arab news source. Ynet News is in fact the English-language version of the Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli Hebrew newspaper and web portal.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 20, 2005 02:00 PM | TrackBack

I hope if he is dead, he meets his allah- so he can tell him how many of his own people he murdered!

Posted by: Rickster at November 20, 2005 05:26 PM


I prefer the scenario that Zarqawi is standing before God's judgement throne wondering where the heck allah is.

Posted by: Old Soldier at November 20, 2005 05:38 PM

How many times have we heard this? This is getting to be like the little boy who cried "wolf". Nobody's going to care when it really happens, only smile and have a beer. Cheers to the reality that there are no 72 virgins, rivers of wine, etc.--and he went straight to hell.

Posted by: Cao at November 20, 2005 05:41 PM

Just to play the devil's advocate here, even if the butt wipe is dead, would this really change anything? The MSM would just come up with another figure head and prance him out before the peeps of America. Just my opinion tonight, it could change at any second.

Posted by: Alabama Improper at November 20, 2005 10:00 PM

Thank you for quoting Ynetnews. Nevertheless, is the English news and analysis site from Israel most-read newspaper and the leading Hebrew news portal
NOT an Arab news source.
I'd appreciate a correction.

Posted by: Efrat Yaari at November 21, 2005 05:49 AM