Author Topic: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid  (Read 5881 times)

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Offline RottingCorpse

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al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« on: June 08, 2006, 09:58:31 AM »
This is big, eh? Will it stop the fighting in Iraq or shout down al Qaeda there? No. But it's a big blow. I wonder if the military will be able to springboard this into the war over "hearts and minds."

Quote from: AP
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi killed in air raid

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida leader in Iraq who waged a bloody campaign of suicide bombings and beheadings of hostages, has been killed in a precision airstrike, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday. It was a long-sought victory in the war in Iraq.

Al-Zarqawi and seven aides, including spiritual adviser Sheik Abdul Rahman, were killed Wednesday evening in a remote area 30 miles northeast of Baghdad in the volatile province of Diyala, just east of the provincial capital of Baqouba, officials said.

"Al-Zarqawi was eliminated," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said.

At the White House, President Bush hailed the killing as "a severe blow to al-Qaida and it is a significant victory in the war on terror."

But he cautioned: "We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continuing patience of the American people."

Al-Qaida in Iraq confirmed al-Zarqawi's death and vowed to continue its "holy war," according to a statement posted on a Web site.

"We want to give you the joyous news of the martyrdom of the mujahed sheik Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"The death of our leaders is life for us. It will only increase our persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme."

Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said the hunt for al-Zarqawi began two weeks ago, and his body was identified by fingerprints and facial recognition.

Casey said an American airstrike targeted "an identified, isolated safe house."

He said tips and intelligence from senior leaders of al-Zarqawi's network led U.S. forces to al-Zarqawi as he was meeting with some of his associates. Casey also said Iraqi police were first on the scene after the airstrike.

Video from the scene of the attack showed children scrambling over a flattened jumble of cinderblocks, concrete reinforcing bars, blankets, blue plastic bowls and other debris. A pickup truck was scorched and crushed.

Two young members of the crowd held up a child's sandal, a backpack with a teddy bear on it and a stuffed animal. The rubble was across a dirt road from a grove of palm trees.

The news came amid more reports of violence in Iraq, with two bombs striking a market and a police patrol in Baghdad, killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 40.

The announcement about al-Zarqawi's death came six days after he issued an audiotape on the Internet, railing against Shiites in Iraq and saying militias were raping women and killing Sunnis. He urged the community to fight back.

The Jordanian-born terrorist was Iraq's most-wanted militant — as notorious as Osama bin Laden, to whom he swore allegiance in 2004. The United States put a $25 million bounty on his head, the same as bin Laden. Al-Maliki told al-Arabiya television the bounty would be honored, saying "we will meet our promise," without elaborating.

Al-Zarqawi is believed to have beheaded two Americans — Nicholas Berg of West Chester, Pa., and Eugene Armstrong, formerly of Hillsdale, Mich. — prompting supporters to dub him "the slaughtering sheik."

Al-Maliki said the Wednesday night airstrike by U.S. forces was based on intelligence reports provided to Iraqi security forces by area residents.

A Jordanian official said the kingdom also provided the U.S. military with information that helped track down al-Zarqawi, who claimed responsibility for a November triple suicide bombing against Amman hotels that killed 60.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was addressing intelligence issues, would not elaborate, but Jordan is known to have agents operating in Iraq to hunt down Islamic militants.

Some of the information came from Jordan's sources inside Iraq and led the U.S. military to the area of Baqouba, the official said.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told The Associated Press that a serious effort to find al-Zarqawi had been underway since he appeared in a videotape in late April — the same week messages were broadcast by bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

He said the location in which al-Zarqawi appeared in the videotape had been "pinpointed," without elaborating.

Baqouba has in recent weeks seen a spike in sectarian violence, including the discovery of 17 severed heads in fruit boxes. It also was near the site of a sectarian atrocity last week in which masked gunmen killed 21 Shiites, including a dozen students pulled from minibuses, after separating out four Sunni Arabs.

"Those who disrupt the course of life, like al-Zarqawi, will have a tragic end," al-Maliki said. He also warned those who would follow the militant's lead that "whenever there is a new al-Zarqawi, we will kill him."

"This is a message for all those who embrace violence, killing and destruction to stop and to (retreat) before it's too late," he said. "It is an open battle with all those who incite sectarianism."

A U.S. defense intelligence official, who requested anonymity while events were unfolding, said there is no intelligence indicating that extremists planned attacks that would be triggered by al-Zarqawi's death.

However, the official said, with his death, there may be some retaliation.

It was not clear to American authorities who would succeed al-Zarqawi as the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. The official noted that a number of al-Zarqawi's deputies have been taken out in recent months, which could cause chaos among the group's top tier.

In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said al-Zarqawi's death "was very good news because a blow against al-Qaida in Iraq was a blow against al-Qaida everywhere." Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the killing was "a significant step in ridding the world of the menace of terrorism."

In Jordan, al-Zarqawi's older brother said the insurgent leader was a martyr, and the family had long expected his death. Al-Zarqawi's family had renounced him in the wake of the Amman bombings.

"We anticipated that he would be killed for a very long time," Sayel al-Khalayleh told The Associated Press by phone from Zarqa, the town from which al-Zarqawi derived his name.

Al-Zarqawi's oversaw a wave of kidnappings of foreigners and the killings of at least a dozen, including Arab diplomats and three Americans. He also was a master Internet propagandist, spreading the call for Islamic extremists to join the "jihad," or holy war, in Iraq. His group posted gruesome images of beheadings, speeches by al-Zarqawi and recruitment videos depicting the planning and execution of its most daring attacks.

Iraqi citizens had mixed reactions to the news of al-Zarqawi's death.

Thamir Abdulhussein, a college student in Baghdad, said he hoped the killing would promote peace between the fractured ethnic and sectarian groups.

"If it's true al-Zarqawi was killed, that will be a big happiness for all the Iraqis," he said. "He was behind all the killings of Sunni and Shiites. Iraqis should now move toward reconciliation. They should stop the violence."

Amir Muhammed Ali, a 45-year-old stock broker in Baghdad, was skeptical that al-Zarqawi's death would end the unrelenting sectarian violence and said the Iraqi resistance to U.S.-led forces likely would continue.

"He didn't represent the resistance, someone will replace him and the operations will go on," he said.

In the past year, al-Zarqawi moved his campaign beyond Iraq's borders to Jordan and Lebanon, where he claimed responsbility for a rocket attack from Lebanon into northern Israel.

U.S. forces and their allies came close to capturing al-Zarqawi several times since his campaign began in mid-2003.

The closest brush may have come in late 2004. Deputy Interior Ministry Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal said Iraqi security forces caught al-Zarqawi near the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah but then released him because they did not realize who he was.

In May 2005, Web statements by his group said al-Zarqawi had been wounded in fighting with Americans and was being treated in a hospital abroad — raising speculation over a successor among his lieutenants. But days later, a statement said al-Zarqawi was fine and had returned to Iraq. There was never any independent confirmation that he was wounded.

U.S. forces believe they just missed capturing al-Zarqawi in a Feb. 20, 2005, raid in which troops closed in on his vehicle west of Baghdad near the Euphrates River. His driver and another associate were captured and al-Zarqawi's computer was seized along with pistols and ammunition.

U.S. troops twice launched massive invasions of Fallujah, the stronghold used by al-Qaida in Iraq fighters and other insurgents west of Baghdad. An April 2004 offensive left the city still in insurgent hands, but an October 2004 assault wrested it from them.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 06:02:47 PM by RottingCorpse »

Offline Tatertots

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 04:45:43 PM »
It's nothing but a political move by the failed Bush administration. Want proof?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4431601/

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006, 03:56:28 PM »
It's nothing but a political move by the failed Bush administration. Want proof?

That doesn't make it un-good.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006, 04:10:45 PM »
I'm with Reggie on this one. It's not this guy was misunderstood in any way.

Offline Tatertots

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2006, 01:11:14 AM »
My problem with this is that the Bush administration is picking and choosing this kind of crap only to benefit them. They didn't get him in the run-up to the war because he exemplified some of the problems in Iraw. SO he kills a couple hundred more people and then the Bush administration kills him to show how swimingly the war is going.

Also: Osama bin Who?

I bet we'll nab him a couple weeks before an election (2006 or 2008). Mark my words!

Offline Matt

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2006, 03:26:18 AM »
Couple hundred? I'd argue that by aggravating U.S./Iraqi tension, he's caused the death of several thousand, counting civilians and insurgents and U.S. soldiers.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2006, 11:05:56 AM »
I'll grant you that they should have nailed Zarqawi earlier, but I think the argument that the Bush administration just let him run wild is weak. They've wanted this guy bad for awhile.

Offline Matt

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2006, 12:19:03 PM »
I think Tyson's case could be argued as we start to buckle down and get ready for the '06 elections, and based on that MSNBC article.

Offline Tatertots

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2006, 08:11:07 PM »
RC - The argument that they let him run wild on purpose is only another way of seeing the fact that they didn't get him because he was part of their case for war against Iraq and if they got him, there would be less of a reason to hit Iraq. Then again, we now know that 90% of the reasons given were either bullshit or information that was known to be weak speculation.

"We know where the WMDs are" etc etc etc.

And:

"You know ladies and gentleman
A lot of people think that I won because
I look pretty good compared to guys like me
But I don's think that's it at all

So right now I would like you to meet the man
Who's impecable sense of timing
Contributed the most to my reelection
Please welcome
Mr So-Damn Insane!"

[music starts]

O when the kurd kurd kurd
kurd is the word
O when the kurd kurd kurd
kurd is the word
O when the kurd...

Bomb bomb bomb
bomb bomb Iraq
Bomb bomb bomb
bomb bomb Iraq
Lets bomb Iraq
Yeah, lets attack
That maniac"

etc.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2006, 01:03:50 PM »
This sounds like the prologue to a muslim extremist sci-fi movie.

"Abu, They hid the bones of Zarqzawi knowing the propehcy of his mystical powers. Now the stars are aligned in Thymisrew and this dildo will resurrect him, even more powerful than before!"

Quote from: The AP
Official: al-Zarqawi buried in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Slain terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been buried in a "secret location" in Baghdad, Iraq's national security adviser said.

Mouwafak al-Rubaie would not say when the Jordanian-born militant, who was killed June 7 in a U.S. airstrike northeast of Baghdad, was buried, or give any specifics on the location of the grave.

The U.S. military confirmed the burial but declined to give details.

"The remains of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi were turned over to the appropriate government of Iraq officials and buried in accordance with Muslim customs and traditions," the military said in an e-mailed statement. "Anything further than that would be addressed by the Iraqi government."

Al-Zarqawi's older brother demanded that his body be transferred to Jordan, and accused the United States of lying.

"Bush took his body to the United States," Sayel al-Khalayleh, 50, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his home in the Jordanian city of Zarqa.

"Even if he is buried in Iraq, we will continue to ask for the body to be transferred and buried in Jordan," al-Khalayleh said. "He should be buried in his own country."

Jordan's government had refused to let al-Zarqawi's body back for burial because of the triple suicide bombing his al-Qaida in Iraq organization carried out in the capital, Amman, last year.

The bombings, which killed 60 people, sparked widespread outrage among Jordanians who had been sympathetic to insurgents battling the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

Al-Zarqawi, 39, was killed after an intense two-week hunt that U.S. officials said first led to the terror leader's spiritual adviser, Sheik Abdul Rahman, then to him.

He was raised in the industrial town of Zarqa, east of the capital, Amman, but left Jordan in 1999 for Afghanistan, where he remained until just after the 2001 U.S. invasion of that country. He later moved to Iraq and staged a brutal campaign of suicide bombings and hostage killings, backed by a canny Internet propaganda campaign, after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

The U.S. military listed al-Zarqawi's cause of death as "primary blast injury of the lung" following an autopsy. Officials said he survived for nearly an hour after the airstrike outside Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.