The Al-Sadr rumor is paper thin. It showed up on a Sunni message board, then got picked up at Free Republic, now it’s here. Why? Because news today has been so slow, Fox had to resort to this:

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So never mind about al-Sadr. The Abu Deraa rumors might be for real, though. I’ve mentioned him a few times before; he’s an al-Sadr deputy known as the “Shiite Zarqawi” and famous for the sadistic relish with which he killed his victims, most notably by drilling holes in their heads. It looks like the Sunnis finally caught up to him:

Islamemo reported right now the death Abu-Deraa by Iraqi resistance in Sayid-Muhammad city 20 km south the city of Balad.

Iraqi resistance ambushed a group of Mahdi-Army and managed to kill Abu-Deraa, a fierce battle is going on started since 4,20 pm until this moment.

Islamemo will update this with more details, and I will keep you updated

That was posted on the jihadi site Uruknet on November 28. Today, SITE posted this:

In a statement released today, Monday, December 4, 2006, the Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for the killing of Shi’ite militia commander Abu Deraa. The claim comes three days after a statement released by the Islamic Army in Iraq that also claimed responsibility for the killing of Abu Deraa. In conflicting reports, the Islamic State of Iraq claimed to have killed Abu Deraa alongside his entourage, six individuals and six four-wheel drive cars, in the north of the “province of Baghdad” on November 25th, while the Islamic Army in Iraq reported destroying an ambulance he was travelling in undercover through the city of Balad, no date given.

It’s good news, I guess, in the same way that it’s good news when a Gambino kills a Genovese.

Meanwhile, Saddam’s too old to die. Prepare yourself for the blast of sanctimony that’s coming if he wriggles out of the noose: it’ll be just like the bright-side idiocy about having denied Moussaoui martyrdom when he got life in prison, except more so because of what it’ll prove about the rule of law in Iraq and how much more civilized they are than we are when you come right down to it and etc etc etc.