Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Unconfirmed rumor

Being a Journalism major means that there are some things that are a no-no like publishing unconfirmed rumors. The good thing is that blogging is not held to these standards. Even better, I will let you know when they are unconfirmed rumors that I am spreading.

A prolific tipster friend of mine sent this clip to me. Its claimed source being a Russian News Agency. A quick google search of the headline leads to the China Daily... and a few other sources of questionable dependability.

The rumor is that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been arrested! This would be huge and if confirmed, would be as big or bigger than news of Saddam's arrest. al-Zarqawi's leadership has proved vital in keeping terrorist activity in condition. If he were to be captured, it might not end the "insurgency," but it would certainly be a blow to al-Qaeda.

Here's the UNCONFIRMED clipping:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi reportedly arrested in Iraq

04.01.2005, 07.18

DUBAI, January 4 (Itar-Tass) - Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, whom the US occupation authorities declared to be the "target number one" in Iraq, has been arrested in the city of Baakuba, the Emirate newspaper al-Bayane reported on Tuesday referring to Kurdish sources. Al-Zarqawi, leader of the terrorist group Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad, was recently appointed the director of the Al-Qaeda organization in Iraq.

The newspaper's correspondent in Baghdad points out that a report on the seizure of the terrorist, on whom the US put a bounty of 10 million dollars, was also reported by Iraqi Kurdistan radio, which at one time had been the first to announce the arrest of Saddam Hussein.

There have been no official reports about the arrest of the terrorist. Al-Zarqawi, 38, a Jordanian, whose real name is Ahmad al-Khalayleh, aims to turn Iraq into a "new Afghanistan". According to Arab press data, Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad group has divided Iraq into several emirates. The group's independent subdivisions at a strength of 50 to 500 militants operate in the cities of Al-Falluja, Al-Qaim, Diala, and Samarra.

The personnel of the group are on the whole 1,500-strong and include Iraqis and citizens of Arab and Islamic countries. There are demolition experts and missilemen among them.

The group has depots of weapons and explosives in various parts of the country. It intends to frustrate the upcoming parliamentary elections that are scheduled for the end of this month. Al-Tawhid Wa'al-Jihad threatens to do away with Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and members of the interim government.
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