Today on Blogcritics
Home » Zarqawi: Not Quite Dead Yet

Zarqawi: Not Quite Dead Yet

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Reports from Iraq over the weekend suggested that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq had died during a gun battle on Saturday afternoon in Mosul.

Acting on one of the more and more frequent tips from local Iraqi citizens, US and Iraqi security forces surrounded a house in Mosul where a group of terrorists were believed to be hiding. In the course of the siege, four terrorists were killed by gunfire and the remaining three blew themselves up, including a woman who was found with the words “suicide bomber” painted on her chest.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Arab media were indicating that Zarqawi was one of those killed in the raid based on reports from local Iraqis, from Iraqi goverrnment sources and on the behavior of coalition forces who secured the area and brought in special investigative units to determine the identity of those killed in the attack.

However, subsequent reports and statements from coalition authorities suggest that Zarqawi was not present at what was clearly a suicide-bomb workshop.

Reports do suggest that Zarqawi’s days are numbered, as more and more local authorities who had previously shielded him are turning against Al Qaeda because of the indiscriminate nature of its attacks in Iraq and Jordan. Even Zarqawi’s own family has denounced him, taking out advertisements in Jordanian newspapers announcing that they “sever links with him until doomsday.” The leader of his tribal group commented that he “would not hesitate to kill [Zarqawi].”

In a taped message, Zarqawi attempted damage control rather like a western politician, trying to explain away his attacks on three Jordanian hotels last week which killed only Arabs, including members of a wedding party. Zarqawi said, “We ask God to have mercy on the Muslims, who we did not intend to target, even if they were in hotels which are centres of immorality.”

One of the Jordanian attackers, Sajida Mubarak Atrous Risha, was captured after her bomb failed to explode. She is he sister of the Al Qaeda leader in Fallujah who was killed earlier this year.

Increasingly, public sentiment throughout the Middle East has turned against Zarqawi and the Iraqi insurgency as they continue to target innocent Moslems, particularly Shiites. Thousands marched in protest in Jordan last week chanting “Cease, cease, al-Zarqawi, you are a villain! Cease, cease, you terrorist, you are a coward!”

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice observed, “In the aftermath of the vicious attacks in Jordan — which killed dozens of people and wounded many more — leaders and clerics and private citizens are now stepping forward and taking to the streets and calling this evil by its name. This is a profound change.”

Mejdi Nuaimat, a Jordanian student commened, “We do not consider this jihad; we consider it against Islam and against humanity.”

In Baghdad Jameel Younan Nissan whose house wa destroyed by a suicide bomber said, “Nobody here supports the insurgency. Even before this attack, the feelings against Zarqawi were growing. He has no religion, no sect, no humanity. He is the devil.”

A recent UPI poll of Jordanians shows public sentiment turning massively against the Jihadists, Zarqawi and al Qaeda, with 94 percent stating that the actions of these groups were not in the best interests of Arabs or Islam. Meanwhile recent polling by the BBC in Iraq shows strong support for the government-building process, for the role being played by the US-led coalition and for increasing dissatisfaction with the insurgency.

With no one left willing to shield him and many former Iraqis moving away from violence and joining the political process in anticipation of the December elecion, Zarqawi is becoming increasingly isolated and running out of resources. Many believe that his death or capture is inevitable in the next few weeks.

Powered by

About Dave Nalle

  • Alethinos

    Dave… It would be wonderful if this proves to be true… I don’t think the tide has turned though… There are too many hatemongers among the mullas and imams. There is FAR too much ignorance and prejudice among the populations. And unfortunately we really REALLY damaged what presitge we had after 9/11 by invading Iraq…

    Sadaam of course would have had to be dealt with sooner or later. But Bush really screwed the pooch on this. There was no need to invade when we did.

    So my hope – expressed above – is that this will bring the boys home sooner than later. It is certainly not a feather in our cap. And unfortunately there are plenty more Zarqawis out there…

    Alethinos

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The tide has certainly turrned in Jordan, and the poll numbers and general attitudes in Iraq seem to be more and more favorable to peace and stablity.

    As hatred against Zarqawi grows, it may have a significant impact on his successors. His practice of targeting other moslems for his attacks has more or less backfired. If he’s taken out any successor may opt for a different strategy, which would at least reduce the death toll. But it’s also possible that if his attacks continue and public sentiment becomes even more negative no one will want to be seen as his successor at all.

    I’ve said it before, and I think it’s more true than ever before – the terrorists are their own worst enemies. If the US can avoid being MORE offensive and randomly violent than they are for long enough, eventually they’ll alienate their support base.

    Dave

  • Alethinos

    Oh, I agree… The moment they started targeting the locals willy-nilly I thought to myself, “well, thanks for shooting yourselves in the foot.”

    But, setting Iraq/Jordan aside… There are a LOT of very ignorant, frustrated, angry Muslims out there, with a lot of evil, hatemongering mullas… Iraq is only one spot. And those terrorists that are smart can spin what Z has done there as an “aberration” and continue to war against America… If we get out of Iraq and by the grace of God it doesn’t collapse then we have a chance to counter this threat… If Iraq collapses… Well this too will be used against us…

    It was never a matter Dave that Sadaam, someday, would have to be removed. THE issue has always been the WAY in which Bush dragged us into doing it this way – an absolutely WRONG way – and we are paying a dear price for it…

    Alethinos

  • JR

    If only someone had taken him out three years ago.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    There are many people who are supposed to be bin Laden’s “top officials.”

    Like someone on Fark said one fateful night, Osama has more top guys than a gay orgy.

    It’s not the person, it’s the system. It’s like the quarterback at Texas Tech. It doesn’t matter who you put in there, they’re gonna pass for a billion yards a season.

    Or the running back for the Denver Broncos.

    Or whoever hits in front of Barry Bonds.

    Likewise, whoever’s high on the al-Qaeda ladder.

  • steve

    It would be a success for the Bush administration if al Zarqawi ends up dead or captured in the next upcoming weeks…I think that it would bump his approval rating for sure.

  • Nancy

    Wishful thinking on the part of BushCo: if they say it often enough, it must be true.

  • Alethinos

    Is it just me or is this post – the responses – showing up totally WHITE? As in Font color? No other posts behave this way…

    Alethinos

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Is it just me or is this post – the responses – showing up totally WHITE? As in Font color? No other posts behave this way…

    A helpful fellow editor caught a typo in the text and then made a notation that they had edited the piece at the bottom, hiding it as white text, and forgetting to close the html tag making all subsequent text white too. I fixed it.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Oh, I agree… The moment they started targeting the locals willy-nilly I thought to myself, “well, thanks for shooting yourselves in the foot.”

    It’s more than just targetting locals indescriminately. If you read Zarqawi’s ‘statement of principles’ which was published in newspapers last year, he specifically states that they’re targetting Shiites and cooperating Sunnis and Kurds first before the coalition. That’s not a good way to win friends.

    But, setting Iraq/Jordan aside… There are a LOT of very ignorant, frustrated, angry Muslims out there, with a lot of evil, hatemongering mullas… Iraq is only one spot. And those terrorists that are smart can spin what Z has done there as an “aberration” and continue to war against America… If we get out of Iraq and by the grace of God it doesn’t collapse then we have a chance to counter this threat… If Iraq collapses… Well this too will be used against us…

    A large factor in all this is revealed in he polls in Jordan, which show a much smaller swing against Zarqawi among those in their teens and 20s than among older Arabs. So while he may lose all governmental support he can probably still recruit footsoldiers.

    It was never a matter Dave that Sadaam, someday, would have to be removed. THE issue has always been the WAY in which Bush dragged us into doing it this way – an absolutely WRONG way – and we are paying a dear price for it…

    Not quite so. I’d say the removal part was fine. It was the pacification of the rest of the country which was amateurish.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If only someone had taken him out three years ago.

    Or last year when they thought they had killed him in a scenario remarkably similar to what happened on Saturday.

    But I still think his days are seriously numbered.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Steve: It would be a success for the Bush administration if al Zarqawi ends up dead or captured in the next upcoming weeks…I think that it would bump his approval rating for sure.

    Even better if Ossama’s death is finally confirmed as well. I do think Zarqawi will be captured or killed before the end of the year, though.

    Nancy: Wishful thinking on the part of BushCo: if they say it often enough, it must be true.

    Actually, the administration almost immediately denied that Zarqawi had been killed. That all came from the Arab press.

    There was an interesting editorial in Al Jazeera which suggested that the US is deliberately building up Zarqawi’s reputation so that when we catch him we’ll look like we’ve accomplished a big victory.

    Dave

  • Anthony Grande

    Does anyone have any idea if Zarqawi is actually in Iraq or hiding somewhere else?

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    Okay, let’s set the record straight:

    -Generalissimo Francisco Franco: still dead

    -Zarqawi: may be dead

    -2005 Yankees: RIP

    -Ed MacMahon: am I correct, sir?

    -Milli Vanilli: one down; one to go

    -Vanilla Ice: cold as, well….

    -2005 NY Jets: jump in the hole already

    -Jacques Chirac: give George A. Romero a call

    -Osama bin Laden: working in Wendy’s in Kabul

    -Don Rickles: aging hockey puck

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    “Generalissimo Francisco Franco: still dead”

    I’ve been waiting all day to hear that.

  • Anthony Grande

    “Generalissimo Francisco Franco: still dead”

    His neutrality and socialist policies still are alive in Spain eventhough he is dead.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Mmmm… Spain…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Does anyone have any idea if Zarqawi is actually in Iraq or hiding somewhere else?

    All of the evidence seems to suggest that he’s still in Iraq.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    Zarqawi has been dead for 2 years, IMO. He hasn’t been seen on TV for that long, and there are no reliable reports of his siting. And his wife (widow) is working, which he never allowed before.

    All we have is a bogeyman to scare children, principally in the US. BOO!

    Apparently, we need a little proto-Hitler to attach our hate to, so I guess the ghost of Zarqawi will have to do.

    But if you think of the way that OBL designed al queda you see that prominent personalities are not needed, nor even wanted. AQ is independent even of OBL himself. Apparently, the AQ outfit is patterned after the WW2 French resistance, where cells were made up of 3 people, only one of whom knew the person above them.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Odd, everyone in a position to have hard facts seems to think Zarqawi is alive and well and running things.

    I do agree that Al Qaeda doesn’t depend on personalities in order to do damage, but to function as a movement and to go beyond terrorism to promoting the Caliphate it does need to have identifiable leaders.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    Anyone have any hard evidence that Z is still alive? Maybe like that old gag of Z holding up a recent NYT in a video clip?

    Zarqawi is dead. The neocons, as usual, are grappling with phantoms.