Ayman al-Zawahiri Surrounded

CNN: ‘High-value’ al Qaeda target may be surrounded in Pakistan

Pakistani forces have surrounded what may be a “high-value” al Qaeda target in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan, President Pervez Musharraf told CNN.

“We feel that there may be a high-value target,” Musharraf told CNN. “I can’t say who.”

Two Pakistani government sources told CNN that intelligence indicates the surrounded figure is Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s number two leader.

Pakistani forces are waiting until sunrise to launch a heavy air assault to prevent any members of the al Qaeda group from escaping, sources told CNN.

More than 200 al Qaeda fighters are trying to prevent al-Zawahiri’s capture, the sources said.

Musharraf said the ferociousness of the surrounded fighters indicates that they are protecting someone particularly significant.

Cam Edwards has all the tinfoil hat responses lined up.

Update: Stephen Green links speculation that the capture has occured.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. James,

    Thanks for qualifying that as speculation. I’m getting tired of hunting down citings that require a retraction.

    Hope the hunt is going well.