Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Zarqawi Aide Captured by Iraqis

(Baghdad) Labeled as one of Iraq's most-wanted al-Qaeda terrorists, Kassim al-Ani was captured by Iraqi army security forces in Baghdad Sunday night. Kassim al-Ani, a/k/a Qasim Al-Aani, is a senior aide to the Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

From KUNA.net.kw:
Chief of the 3rd Brigades in the Iraqi Army Jawad Roomi Al-Daini told KUNA Al-Aani is a leader of an insurgent group and is behind many attacks in several Iraqi districts.

He said Al-Aani was involved in the assassination of the son of Chief Justice of Iraqi Supreme Court, Judge Madhat Al-Mahmoud, pointing out that the killer's brother, who is a member in the terrorist group, was also arrested.
In total, three al Qaeda terrorists were grabbed, senior aide Al-Aani, his brother and one other unnamed individual.

Notably, two weeks ago it was reported that Salah Hussain Abdul Razak (a/k/a Salah Hussein Abdelrazzaq), also a senior aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was captured in Ramadi.

From AINA.org:
The relevant Interior Ministry statement said "terrorist Salah Hussein Abdelrazzaq was arrested Sunday evening" in Al-Ramadi and had in his possession a mobile telephone storing photos showing him and Al-Zarqawi.
Ziad Khalaf Raja al-KarboulyBut wait, there's more. About one week ago, it was reported that another senior al Qaeda in Iraq member was captured by Jordanian Intelligence. Iraqi citizen Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouly (a/k/a Ziad al-Karbouli and Abu Houthiyfah) was arrested after being lured into Jordan. Al-Karbouly (right) worked as a customs agent on the Iraq-Jordan border.

On Jordanian state-run television, al-Karbouly described the kidnapping and killing of a Jordanian driver in Iraq. He also seized two Moroccans who worked at their country's embassy and admitted to killing Iraqis.

Taken all together, I'd say that al Qaeda in Iraq seems to have had a miserable two weeks. In total, three senior aides to Zarqawi have been captured in three separate operations. And I seem to recall others from earlier. In fact, over the last year, it's likely that Zarqawi lost at least a dozen senior aides. So, what's up? Just how many senior aides can a guy have? And how many can he lose and still be effective?

[Update 05/31/06]

Rusty Shackleford reports that another senior al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist, Ahmed Hussein Dabash Samir al-Batawi, has been captured. Al-Batawi was notorious for beheading "hundreds of innocent Iraqis."

Keep on nabbing, guys.

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