Report: Zarqawi Captured

Jeff Quinton passes on a Russian report that Iraq’s head terrorist has been captured:

Sofia Morning News – Al-Zarqawi Captured – Report

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of the group suspected of beheading two Bulgarian hostages, has reportedly been arrested in Western Iraq. Al-Zarqawi has been arrested by Iraqi police and US military close to the border with Syria, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing information posted on the Internet.

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A group linked to Zarqawi is suspected of carrying out a wave of attacks in late June that killed more than 100 people and injured hundreds more in attacks in five Iraqi cities.

I agree with Jeff that the report is sketchy enough that we might ought hold off on our celebrations and that, “If it turns out to be true – bank on the timing being questioned by Democrats.”

Update (1305): The same site is now issuing denials. It’s apparently getting heavy traffic; neither link is loading at present.

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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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    schetchy doesn’t began to describes it. Den Beste Rule applies for now.

  2. Nathan Hamm says:

    I managed to dig up the RIA Novosti report mentioned by Novinvite. Unfortunately, my newspaper Russian sucks. Maybe someone else can make better sense of it.

    What I did see that jumped out was the mention of an Iraqi website called “Our Iraq,” where it sounds like they got the information from (again, my Russian ain’t great and I don’t quite recall what сообщил means).

  3. Jim Henley says:

    Do you think Fafnir and Giblets tracked him down during the two weeks they were “on the road?”

  4. Bithead says:

    The report may be in error, but clearly the rumor mill is going crazy because SOMEONE got caught. CNN is up with a report that is so similar as to make one wonder if the first source didn’t simply screw it up… says CNN:

    “DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) – Pakistan has arrested a senior al Qaeda figure with a bounty of up to $25 million on his head, Interior Minister Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat told CNN television Thursday. He said the suspect had been captured during a raid in central Pakistan a few days ago. He did not identify the captive but said he was “a person who is most wanted internationally.” …”The Pakistani president said the arrested person is Tanzanian who is married to an Uzbek woman, and who is wanted by the United States,” the station said. Al Arabiya said the suspect may be Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani. Ghailani is the only Tanzanian on the FBI’s most wanted “terrorists” list, for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings by al Qaeda of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

    similarity of situaton, caused someone at the Rusian outlet to pop a cork.