Nathan R. Jessup

Two More al-Qaeda Leaders Realize There Are No Virgins Waiting For Them

In Breaking News, military, Muslims, terrorism, War, World News on April 19, 2010 at 9:51 am

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(By Nathan R. Jessup)

Ever wonder what happens at that moment when al-Qaeda martyrs realize they made a big mistake? Fortunately, an increasing number of these murderous radicals are finding out what is really in store for them, death. Today, two more were disappointed…

The Washington Post has the story:

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced Monday that the two leaders of the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq have been killed.

THIS STORY
2 al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders killed, prime minister says
Council on Foreign Relations: Background on al-Qaeda
In a televised news conference, Maliki said Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group that includes al Qaeda in Iraq, were killed in a recent raid.

American officials did not immediately confirm the death of the top insurgent leaders.

Iraqi officials have previously falsely claimed to have captured and killed top al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders. They announced last summer that Baghdadi, a shadowy figure, was in custody — a claim they supported at the time with a video and photos of the alleged insurgent.

On Monday, Maliki said the raid where the leaders were killed occurred in recent days at a house in Salahaddin Province in northern Iraq. He said a team of Iraqi troops working with American soldiers carried out the operation.

Maliki said the two suspected insurgent leaders were found dead in a ditch after an air strike conducted by American forces.

“We have found a lot of documents, and hand-written letters,” that implicated the men, Maliki said.

Maliki presented photos allegedly showing the slain leaders during Monday’s news conference.

The Islamic State of Iraq has taken credit for a series of powerful attacks that have targeted government buildings, hotels, embassies and other targets in recent month. The group said it sees the Shiite-led government as an illegitimate byproduct of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

Also Monday, Iraqi electoral officials bowed to a request from Maliki and announced that they will manually recount the votes cast in Baghdad during last month’s parliamentary election.

The move was decried by officials with Iraqiya, the coalition that narrowly beat Maliki’s State of Law bloc during the March 7 vote. It is likely to raise questions about the independence of Iraq’s judiciary and prolong the formation of a new government.

“This decision is a result of pressure from the Maliki government,” said Dhafer al Ani, a member of the outgoing parliament who was barred from running in the recent election on the Iraqiya list. “If they keep compromising our institutions, we shall end without an independent, reliable, unbiased authority we can fall back on.”

In order to get reappointed, Maliki would need to win over swing blocs that have been critical of or ambivalent about his government’s performance.

THIS STORY
al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders killed, prime minister says
Council on Foreign Relations: Background on al-Qaeda
Maliki has questioned the legitimacy of the election results, and on Monday Iraqi electoral officials agreed to a rquest from him to manually recount the votes cast in Baghdad, the capital city.

during last month’s parliamentary election.

The move was decried by officials with Iraqiya, the coalition that narrowly beat Maliki’s State of Law bloc. It is likely to raise questions about the independence of Iraq’s judiciary and prolong the formation of a new government.

“This decision is a result of pressure from the Maliki government,” said Dhafer al Ani, a member of the outgoing parliament who was barred from running in the recent election on the Iraqiya list. “If they keep compromising our institutions, we shall end without an independent, reliable, unbiased authority we can fall back on.”

Baghdad has 68 seats in the 325-member parliament. Iraqiya won 91 seats nationwide, just two more than Maliki’s slate.

Maliki has charged that as many as 750,000 votes were manipulated, which he said could have given Iraqiya its edge. The prime minister asked the electoral commission’s judicial panel to recount the Baghdad votes manually, contending that the most serious cases of fraud occurred in the capital.

United Nations officials, who worked closely with Iraq’s electoral commission, have said they found no evidence of widespread fraud.

In recent weeks, Iraqi politicians have begun exploring alliances that would yield the 163 parliamentary votes required to appoint a new prime minister.

Maliki and Ayad Allawi, the leader of Iraqiya, have been aggressively courting the Kurdish politicians and those loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr, in an effort to come out on top.

Allawi has accused the Maliki administration of resorting to unlawful means to weaken his bloc. A commission run by Shiite politicians barred several Iraqiya candidates from running after branding them as loyalists of Saddam Hussein’s outlawed Baath Party.

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