Mosul, Iraq (AP) — The US military announced today that it is “quite possible” that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among those killed in a weekend raid in northern Iraq. The raid took place last Saturday in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, a US counterterrorism expert said. The official said US commanders do not know whether al-Zarqawi — whom US authorities call Al Qaeda’s top man in Iraq — was in the house, which was targeted because suspected Al Qaeda members were thought to be inside.
According to the same official, US commanders also can not rule out the possibility that former fascist dictator Generalisimo Francisco Franco may also have been killed in the raid, though other intelligence indicates that Franco may have died of natural causes in 1975. The official also refused to rule out the possiblity that Jim Morrison, Ted Kaczinsky, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and the late Nipsy Russell may have been in the house with al-Zarqawi. The official stated that the military must conduct “further tests” to confirm the truth or falsity of any of these rumors but that it is “highly likely that somebody was probably in the house” when it was leveled by US airstrikes. “We’re fairly confident that one or more persons of interest, possibly including al-Zarqawi, were neutralized when the house was destroyed,” said the US official.
The Mosul attack is part of a series of coordinated strikes on suspected terrorist staging grounds which US commanders have dubbed “Operation Iron Blowtorch.” According to sources inside the Department of Defense, much of the intelligence supporting this operation was extracted from suspects being held at US detention facilities like the one at Guantamo Bay, Cuba.
Other intelligence supporting the operation is rumored to have been developed by the Department of Justice’s controversial practice of monitoring activity at US public libraries. According to DOJ officials, al-Zarqawi’s whereabouts were confirmed by the checkout of Simple Lessons I learned the Hard Way by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, at the Palmdale, CA, public library. The DOJ source said, “Our software flagged the checkout of these materials as unlikely to be for legitimate purposes.” The DOJ source refused to comment on how al-Zarqawi’s whereabouts were pinpointed based on the library book.