June 16, 2006

More on Zarqawi's Successor

From the Department of Defense:

BAGHDAD, June 16, 2006 – The new lead terrorist in Iraq is a founding member of al Qaeda in Iraq and had a close relationship with the now-killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, coalition officials said.

Officials revealed yesterday that Abu Ayyub al-Masri succeeded Zarqawi following the Jordanian terrorist's elimination June 7 in a precision-bomb attack on his safe house in Iraq. They said Masri fully bought into Zarqawi's bloody tactics that have left thousands of innocent men, women and children across Iraq dead or maimed.

Al-Masri - which means "the Egyptian" - is another foreign fighter who trained in Afghanistan like Zarqawi, coalition officials said. No one knows his real name.

The terrorist is said to be about 38 years old and got his beginning in Egypt, where he joined the Islamic Brotherhood. He fled from Egypt and moved to Afghanistan, where he trained in explosives at the al-Faruq Al Qaeda camp. There he met Zarqawi, officials said.

After the fall of the Taliban, Masri escaped to Iraq and set up with the Jordanian-born Zarqawi. The Egyptian specialized in vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. He helped establish the Baghdad cell of Al Qaeda in early 2003, officials said.

William Teach comments:

Of course, you know that the Lefty media will call this guy a militant and insurgent, despite being Egyptian and a known long term terrorist.

Doesn’t he remind you a bit of Ike from Up The Academy?

Fiesty Republican Whore likes his wicked unibrow.

GOP and the City sez:

The US military unveiled the image of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the man who has taken the place as head of al-Qaida in Iraq. Al-Masri means "dead meat" in Arabic. Abu Ayyub al-Masri should be nervous, because the US military is using the same picture frame that once held the last photo ever taken of Musab al-Zarqawi. Anyone who shows up in that frame, ends up on the business end of 500 pounds of GPS-guided bad news. Showing up on that frame is akin to having your image show up on Jack Bauer's PDA.

The New York Times notes:

The link between Mr. Masri and Mr. Zawahiri is intriguing, in part because of a letter that American officials captured last year that they said they believed was written by Mr. Zawahiri to Mr. Zarqawi. In that letter, Mr. Zawahiri, believed to be hiding along the mountainous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, questioned Mr. Zarqawi's emphasis on killing Shiite civilians, suggesting that such killings alienated Iraqis and detracted from the larger goal of driving out the Americans.

That raises the possibility that the leadership of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia could be contemplating a change in tactics.

Australia's The Age headlines that Al-Qaeda is 'struggling' in Iraq:

Documents and computer equipment retrieved from the rubble where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died last Wednesday indicated that the group was struggling to get recruits and losing both members and weaponry to regular US raids.

Mowafaq al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser, said a memory stick, laptop and other documents had been found in the rubble yielding "a huge treasure of information" about the terror network.

One document suggested that the way to ease the pressure would be to stir up war between the US and Iran.

"We believe this is the beginning of the end of al-Qaeda in Iraq," Mr Rubaie told a news conference in Baghdad.

"We feel we know their locations, the names of their leaders, their whereabouts, their movements." A senior US military official in Iraq said US forces were now in possession of some of the best intelligence since the invasion in 2003.

By Ragnar Danneskjold, Typical Bitter Gun-Clinger at 09:47 AM | Comments |