Terrorist Zarqawi Wounded, Says Own Group

Al Qaeda in Iraq posted on its website that its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been wounded.

Iraq Qaeda says Zarqawi wounded, urges prayers (Reuters)

Al Qaeda’s group in Iraq said on Tuesday its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been wounded and urged Muslims to pray for him, according to a Web posting. “O nation of Islam… Pray for the healing of our Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from an injury he suffered in the path of God,” said a statement from the Al Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq. Its authenticity could not be verified.

“You are the beloved of the mujahideen (holy fighters), and may God heal you and make you steadfast …,” said the statement posted by a user on an Islamist site which often publicizes the group’s activities. “Our Sheikh has taught us that nothing is worthy compared to…Islam,” it added.

In Baghdad, U.S. army Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan, spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq said: “We have no information on whether he’s wounded or what the state of his health is. He’s still our number one target to be captured or killed and until that happens, the hunt is still on.” He also said that such reports had been heard frequently before and were almost impossible to verify.

Quite so. Indeed, my first reaction was, Again?

There are probably some reports that I’m missing.

Still, as Athena notes, this latest claim is from Zarqawi’s own group. While it could certainly be a ploy for sympathy or a diversion of some sort, it’s more promising than the previous rumors.

Update (1257): Militant Web sites say al-Zarqawi wounded (CNN)

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — the Jordanian-born insurgent leader in Iraq — has been wounded, several Islamist militant Web sites reported Tuesday. The message — which could not be independently verified — is attributed to militant Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, who has posted al Qaeda messages.

[…]

While the statement sounds similar to previous messages from al-Zarqawi’s group, it doesn’t bear the group’s logo. American troops nearly captured al-Zarqawi earlier this year in Iraq, Pentagon officials have said.

Interesting.

FILED UNDER: General
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.

Comments

  1. Zarqawi Rumor Again

    We have heard stories like this before, but this one is a bit different: DUBAI (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s group in Iraq said on Tuesday its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been wounded and urged Muslims to pray for him,…

  2. Jim Henley says:

    I’m certainly praying! It’s a new experience, praying for bacteria (go, infection!), but I’m getting used to it.

  3. MSNBC: Zarqawi May be Injured

    Perhaps I’ve grown too skeptical of Zarqawi being injured because that would mean he’s not living in some underground snake pit and I certainly don’t believe much of what is said by Al-Iraqi. We’ll have to wait and see if this report gains traction.

  4. carpeicthus says:

    Maybe he’s really Rasputin, hidden all this time.

  5. PAXALLES says:

    Abu-ser Musab-Story al-Zarqawi Getting to the End of 9 Lives

    Abu-ser Musab-Story al-Zarqawi Getting to the End of 9 Lives