Special Report on Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi

Confirmed: Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi Detained but Freed in November 2004

17 December 2005: It was finally confirmed by Iraqi Deputy Minister Major General Hussein Kamal that Iraqi security forces had held and questioned terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the Falluja area in November 2004, but let him go simply because they did not recognize him. According to reports, al-Zarqawi was “detained for about three or four hours.”

Confirmation of his detention and release stemmed from the interrogation of a Ahmed Abdullah al-Shayea, a Saudi citizen who survived a would-be suicide attack he was supposed to carry out Baghdad’s western neighborhood of Mansour. In a televised interview in January, Al-Shayea claimed that he was tricked into driving a fuel truck that was then detonated by al-Qaeda operatives in Baghdad on Christmas Day 2004 in Mansour, killing nine people and badly injuring him.

Other reports of missed opportunities to capture al-Zarqawi have been reported, including a raid on 28 April 2005 by US forces who were acting on a tip from local informants that militants -including al Zarqawi - were hiding in a hospital in Ramadi. A more recent report indicated that al-Zarqawi was among those killed in a raid and fierce gun battle in the northern city of Mosul last month. There is no word on the outcome of DNA tests to identify whether al-Zarqawi was one of the terrorists, but U.S. officials have denied from the onset that al-Zarqawi was killed in that battle.

Al-Zarqawi, who has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks in Iraq along with the kidnappings and beheadings of foreigners, has a $25 million (USD) bounty on his head.

The Northeast Intelligence Network reported of his near capture following this incident in late 2004.

“CSI: MOSUL”

22 November 2005: Although top U.S. military commanders continue to deny that al Qaeda thug Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi was killed in a weekend raid on a house in Mosul where eight terrorists were killed by U.S. forces, a DNA comparison is currently underway to be certain. Through late yesterday, various sources from U.S. military and intelligence agencies were steadfast in their immediate public denials that al -Zarqawi was in the fortified compound targeted by U.S. and coalition forces last weekend. That raid was conducted less than two weeks after the November 9, 2005 al -Zarqawi sponsored suicide bombing against three hotels in Amman , Jordan that killed 60 people - mostly Muslims. In a subsequent audio statement, al Zarqawi denied that he purposely targeted a wedding party where the majority of Muslims were killed, al though his denial was somewhat countered by would-be Iraqi female suicide bomber Sijida Mubarek Atrous al-Rishawi, whose explosive device failed to detonate and was ultimately captured.

In an interesting turn of events, the same DIA official that told the Northeast Intelligence Network that there was “declining suggestive evidence” that al Zarqawi was at the house targeted by U.S. forces, appears to have become much less certain. In an early morning telephone interview, this DIA official acknowledged that some remains from the Mosul attack have been shipped to the US for forensic analysis, adding that the most recent findings suggest “the presence of a HVT” (high-value target), which indeed could refer to al Zarqawi himself. “A more recent evaluation of the scene and “other factors” not yet made public indicate a certain level of protection afforded to someone of al Zarqawi’s stature.

It is interesting to note that the assets used for the attack on this Mosul safe-house have been equated with those used against the fortified Mosul compound occupied by Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay in July of 2003. Developing…

Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi “Probably Alive”

Unlikely Zarqawi Was Present at “Safe-house” Where 8 Terrorists Were Killed

21 November 2005: A military official speaking from his office Sunday to the Northeast Intelligence Network stated that there is “declining suggestive evidence” that Iraq’s most wanted terrorist, Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi, was at the safe-house in Mosul where the remains of at least six men and one woman were recovered. U.S. and Iraqi forces and U.S. airpower struck the house after receiving intelligence that Mus’ab al Zarqawi might be inside. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official confirmed that the tip “came through foreign intelligence services” just over a week after the multiple suicide attacks in Jordan. Although news reports suggest that 4-5 terrorists were killed fighting off the air and ground assault and three others deliberately “blew themselves up,” the military source suggested that the three hold-outs were “taken out” by the use of “advanced weaponry.” When questioned about the type of weapons used to take out the remaining terrorists, he suggested that explosives inside of the house were “remotely detonated” by U.S. forces.

Sources verified that the remains have been removed from the target location and are undergoing tests to rule out the possibility that the 39 year-old Zarqawi was one of the terrorists who were killed in the fighting.

Meanwhile, a single eulogy-style posting appeared early yesterday on several popular terrorist message boards citing previous terrorist leaders who have died in battle. Suggestions that terrorist leader Abu Mus’ab al Zarqawi was dead accompanied the posting on some of the Arabic language boards, although analysis suggests that those postings originated from open-source news reports and have little to no actual intelligence value.