May 1, 2007
Unconfirmed report: Red On Red Action Takes Down Leader Of al-Qaeda In Iraq (Updated)Topics: Iraq
If this report turns out to be true, another murderous thug is now looking around down in hell for his non-existent 72 virgins, and more importantly, the manner in which the Islamist leader has been killed is a very promising sign - "red on red" fighting: Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader 'killed':
The interior ministry in Iraq says it has received intelligence that the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq has been killed.More here ...
Abu Ayyub al-Masri, believed to be an Egyptian, has led the group since June 2006 when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a US air strike.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is blamed for or has claimed some of the bloodiest insurgent attacks in Iraq since 2003.
According to Iraqi officials, al-Masri was killed in an "internal battle" between militants.
The BBC's defence correspondent Rob Watson says if the reports are confirmed, this would be a highly significant development in terms of the manner of al-Masri's death.
US officials have long talked of friction between al-Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent groups. The reported killing would suggest there are real tensions for US and Iraqi officials to exploit, our correspondent says.
Again, if true, a very interesting development made all the more promising given the announcement only a few days ago of the capture of senior al Qaeda member - operations chief Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, who commanded al-Qaeda paramilitary operations against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He had intended to "manage al-Qaeda affairs" in Iraq when he was detained.
*UPDATE* (11:30am eastern via Evan Kohlmann): Al-Qaida's "Islamic State of Iraq" has now issued a formal statement denying the death of Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, who they describe as the Islamic State's "Minister of War." Elsewhere, Al-Qaida supporters have suggested that the initial report of his demise was part of a desperate scheme concocted by the Iraq government aimed at forcing al-Muhajir to surface and identify himself.
Posted by Richard at May 1, 2007 8:02 AM
targeting the head of the terrorist group as well as hope from the demise of al qaeda's leaders seems reasonable given the top-down nature of the organization and the slavery mentality of the islamic radicals
Posted by: jose at May 1, 2007 2:15 PM
However in this case it's a red on red attack, if true, and it appears that at least some, but certainly not all, Sunni insurgent groups are tiring of al-Qaeda. And that's a very good thing.
Posted by: Richard at May 1, 2007 3:28 PM
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