November 10, 2004
Zarqawi's 'Hostage Slaugherhouses' Found in Fallujah
Apparently earlier reports that Zarqawi had slipped away may have been true. One thing that struck me about this article, which is an AP wire story, is that the author lists the names of some of the French and British hostages, but not the Americans. If any one sees any photos of the so-called 'hostage slaughterhouse' I would be very interested in seeing them. Zarqawi has used several of these houses to murder in the past, and comparing this one to the many beheading videos might give us a clue as to the last time he was in Fallujah. My gut feeling is that he slipped out of Fallujah long-before the present assault started. USA Today:
Iraqi troops have found "hostage slaughterhouses" in Fallujah where foreign captives were held and killed, the commander of Iraqi forces in the city said Wednesday.Hat tip to James Joyner who also notes, "It would be nicer to find Zarqawi and the other perpetrators." Indeed it would.
Troops found CDs and documents of people taken captive in houses in the northern part of Fallujah, Maj. Gen. Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassem Mohan told reporters.
The most notorious abductions in Iraq have been by the al-Qaeda-linked group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was believed to be in Fallujah but who commanders now say likely fled the city before the huge offensive launched this week by U.S. and Iraqi forces.
Mohan did not say that remains of captives were found and did not comment on whether the houses were believed linked to al-Zarqawi or any of several other militant groups that have claimed kidnappings.
"We have found hostage slaughterhouses in Fallujah that were used by these people and the black clothing that they used to wear to identify themselves, hundreds of CDs and whole records with names of hostages," the general said at a military camp near Fallujah.
Mohan was unsure if the hostage records included the names of any of the at least nine foreigners still in the hands of kidnappers â€” most notably, British aid worker Margaret Hassan, French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot and two Americans.