August 01, 2008

Report: Al Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri Dead!?! (Bumped)

Stratfor reports that the United States is attempting to verify rumors coming out of Pakistan that al Qaeda's #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed in a July 28 Predator airstrike.

Intelligence sources told The Jawa Report last week that 'the hunt was on' in Pakistan for a 'big fish'. Could this be the big fish they were talking about?

The major -- and I mean major -- caveat here is that Zawahiri has been rumored to have been killed on a number of previous occasions.

US Forces are said to be going to make an announcement soon about the rumors.

Developing...will post updates below.....

Hat tip: Trollhammer who heard it from Rush Limbaugh....

Update by Howie: I thought this was important enough to leave above the fold.

Via CBS News: (CBS) Ayman al Zawahiri - the second most powerful leader in al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden's No. 2 - may be critically wounded and possibly dead, CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan reports exclusively.

CBS News has obtained a copy of an intercepted letter from sources in Pakistan, which urgently requests a doctor to treat Zawahiri. He's believed to be somewhere in Pakistan's remote tribal areas of Pakistan.

The letter refers to Sheikh Dr. Ayman ul Zawahiri by name - and says that he is in "severe pain" and his "injuries are infected."

It is reportedly written by local Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, whose signature and seal are visible on the letter.

Updated again Via CNN
U.S. counterterrorism officials said Friday they have seen no evidence to support a media report that al Qaeda's No. 2 official, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may be critically wounded or dead...

...Pakistan's ambassador to the United States said his country was "unable to confirm or deny" the report.

More here from Bill Roggio who is depressingly sober about the reports.

UPDATE: Taliban also denying.

U.S. officials have already confirmed that the july 28th airstrike killed an al Qaeda chemical weapons expert named Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar (aka, Abu Khabab al-Masri). The target of the attack was a house close to a madrasa used by jihadists near Azam Warsak village, about 20 km (12 miles) west of Wana, the main town of the South Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan.

Several foreigners in addition to Abu Khabab were also said to have been killed in the attaack

UPDATE: Bill Roggio from The Long War Journal e-mails and says he's not buying it.

He says that there were at least two Egyptians reported killed: Abu Khabab al Masri and one other guy. He thinks maybe Stratfor heard "Egyptian" and "Waziristan" and equated it with Zawahiri.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:28 PM | Comments |