Breaking: Al Qaeda in Iraq leader wounded in firefight? NBC: Al-Masri in custody; NBC backs off capture claim; PJM: He probably wasn’t wounded, either

posted at 5:17 pm on February 15, 2007 by Allahpundit

Just across on CNN. According to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, Iraqi police ran across “an insurgent group” on the road between Fallujah and Samarra and shot it out with them, wounding Abu al-Masri and killing one of his top associates. They have the associate’s body, but al-Masri got away.

How they knew for sure it was him, particularly amidst the fog of a gunfight, is anyone’s guess. But this would be a hell of a way to start the surge.

The U.S. military has no comment yet. Standby.

Update: My mistake — MOI hasn’t explicitly said that al-Masri got away. In fact, they’re refusing to comment on how they know he was wounded. Do they have him in custody?

Update: Here’s the story at CNN.com. Fallujah, huh? I wonder if the Special Missions Group was responsible.

Update: Meanwhile, Sadr continues to play us for fools:

Radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has ordered heads of his Mehdi Army militia to leave Iraq and asked the government to arrest “outlaws” under a U.S.-backed crackdown, Iraq’s president said on Thursday…

“I think many of his top Mehdi Army officials have been ordered to leave Iraq to make the mission of the security forces easier,” the president was quoted as saying in a statement from his office. It added Sadr supported the crackdown and had given the government the go-ahead to arrest any “outlaws”.

He supports a crackdown on the Sunnis and the loose cannons in his own ranks who aren’t listening to him anymore. He wants us to do his dirty work for him and clear the decks so there’s no one to challenge him when he returns.

The AP’s got background on the Iranian special ops troops, a.k.a. the Quds Force, that are almost certainly helping him with logistics.

Update: It turns out the MOI spokesman responsible for this story is none other than Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the same guy who gave us bad information about the alleged nonexistence of Capt. Jamil Hussein. Proceed with caution.

Update: Reader Gary H. e-mails to say I’m giving Khalaf a bad rap and that it’s the AP’s fault, not Khalaf’s, that Jamil Hussein wasn’t ID’d on the first go round.

Update: There have been false reports about al-Masri before.

Update: NBC says we got him. What an intel bonanza this would be.

Update: Ladies and gents, let’s give credit where credit is due by acknowledging that Dr. Rusty Shackleford called this one in a big, big way.

Update: Damn it, I knew it was too good to be true — NBC has removed the paragraph from its story about al-Masri’s capture. No correction of acknowledgement of any mistake, naturally. No wonder they like Olbermann so much.

Update: It’s a total bust says Richard Miniter, writing for PJM. And for that we can thank our friends in Iraq’s MOI. Again.

Shortly after sunset, Iraqi commandos surrounded a “safe house” believed to house Abu Ayuuab al-Masri, who heads al Qaeda in Iraq. He is Zarqawi’s successor and, many in the intelligence community believe, far more dangerous.

In an exchange of AK-47 fire, a number of insurgents were wounded and a man meeting the physical description of al-Masri was captured. He refused to give his name. When police tried to get his fingerprints, they discovered that all ten fingertips had been purposely singed. “He basically has no fingerprints,” a military intelligence official told me.

They did a DNA test on him just to be sure and … no match. As for the wounding, Miniter says it’s probably crap made up by MOI to make this slightly look like slightly less like the fiasco that it is.


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I wish they would just micro chip some of the ones they capture and then let them go. They would lead us right to the terrorist leaders. I think it would work like a charm.

bloggless on February 15, 2007 at 5:20 PM

Love that update… LLLLLLLLUV. IT.

Editor on February 15, 2007 at 5:23 PM

The U.S. military had no comment on the report.

Maybe the IA is holding him for questioning.

Editor on February 15, 2007 at 5:27 PM

In fact, they’re refusing to comment on how they know he was wounded.

Sounds to me like he may have been on the business end of the Zarqawi Special; but the good guys are doing the due diligence before making that info public.

Kid from Brooklyn on February 15, 2007 at 5:30 PM

When will we leave these freedom fighters alone?

RightWinged on February 15, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Sounds to me like he may have been on the business end of the Zarqawi Special; but the good guys are doing the due diligence before making that info public.

Kid from Brooklyn on February 15, 2007 at 5:30 PM

I’m hoping for the Uday and Qusay Double myself.

steveegg on February 15, 2007 at 5:36 PM

In other news:

Pelosi declared the surge to be a failure, due to the violation of al-Masri rights.

John Sutton offered to prosecute the Iraqis for shooting a retreating terrorist.

Tim Burton on February 15, 2007 at 5:36 PM

Next time, boys, take nothing but head shots.

spd rdr on February 15, 2007 at 5:38 PM

When will you people get in through your thick skulls.

There is no Al Qaeda in Iraq.

faraway on February 15, 2007 at 5:41 PM

This is sure to ruin Olbermann’s big day.

JammieWearingFool on February 15, 2007 at 5:42 PM

Tough day at work for that scumbag huh…

x95b10 on February 15, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Wounded but not killed?

Pfft, martyr poseur assclown.

Enrique on February 15, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Let’s see – al-Masri may have escaped after being wounded and al-Sadr is in Iran. Now, is this retreat or phased redeployment? Nancy P. – you wanna take this one?

CP on February 15, 2007 at 5:55 PM

Wow. Big caveat in that last update.

JammieWearingFool on February 15, 2007 at 6:00 PM

He wants us to do his dirty work for him and clear the decks so there’s no one to challenge him when he returns.

Who won’t listen to him anymore? Abu Powerdrill? Who remains to listen to him? It’s clear and hold Allah. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon and if the crackdown works we’re a step closer to reconciliation and if reconciliation comes Sadr is going to return to an Iraq he doesn’t recognize. Minus the hardest of the hardcore that stayed behind to get killed or captured by the us and the IA.

The Apologist on February 15, 2007 at 6:05 PM

It turns out the MOI spokesman responsible for this story is none other than Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim-Khalaf, the same guy who gave us bad information about the alleged nonexistence of Capt. Jamil Hussein. Proceed with caution.

This is why videos to prove it (uday qusay saddam) have to be published.

RushBaby on February 15, 2007 at 6:08 PM

Let’s see – al-Masri may have escaped after being wounded and al-Sadr is in Iran. Now, is this retreat or phased redeployment? Nancy P. – you wanna take this one?

CP on February 15, 2007 at 5:55 PM

Murtha, al-Masri, and al-Sadr have all redeployed to Okinawa.

faraway on February 15, 2007 at 6:08 PM

Update: It turns out the MOI spokesman responsible for this story is none other than Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim-Khalaf, the same guy who gave us bad information about the alleged nonexistence of Capt. Jamil Hussein. Proceed with caution.

Not good.

Rick on February 15, 2007 at 6:10 PM

Wounded but not killed?

Enrique on February 15, 2007 at 5:54 PM

The new surge policy is to wound, but never kill. This provision was insisted upon by none other than Nancy Pelosi herself. Her point: “If we kill all of them, just who in blazes are we supposed to surrender to?”

CyberCipher on February 15, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Well is hard to blame the general when it seems jamil himself was using a different name himself than what he gave the AP news.

William Amos on February 15, 2007 at 6:14 PM

Think Victory

faraway on February 15, 2007 at 6:16 PM

Sadr so needs to be sent to his eternal 72 Helen Thomases.

steveegg on February 15, 2007 at 6:18 PM

Be nice to confirm this before the House votes on the non-binding resolution tomorrow.

Dudley Smith on February 15, 2007 at 6:20 PM

Who won’t listen to him anymore? Abu Powerdrill? Who remains to listen to him? It’s clear and hold Allah. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon and if the crackdown works we’re a step closer to reconciliation and if reconciliation comes Sadr is going to return to an Iraq he doesn’t recognize. Minus the hardest of the hardcore that stayed behind to get killed or captured by the us and the IA.

Hey man, we all hope you’re right, but I don’t know the Vegas odds on that bet.

Max Power on February 15, 2007 at 6:25 PM

The Iraqi terrorists just want to fly kites and live in peace. Why can’t this american aggression stop and let them be at peace with everyone? Man.

lorien1973 on February 15, 2007 at 6:28 PM

He should consider himself very lucky that Hillary isn’t C-in-C.

shaken on February 15, 2007 at 6:47 PM

The U.S. military had no comment on the report.

Something like this isn’t likely to be kept classified. This would be prime news-meat making the military look good. Despite my desire to see this terrorist ‘neutralized, from we know right now the probability is very high that this story is a stretch.

Lawrence on February 15, 2007 at 6:50 PM

If this is true, I hope they “crush his bells in a vice!”

BTW, Speaker Pelosi said that American military is assisting in “ethnic cleansing” in Iraq. Check out Rush’s site, he has the audio.

Talon on February 15, 2007 at 7:00 PM

Nice, upbeat way to end the day! I shall be singing all the way home!

RushBaby on February 15, 2007 at 7:00 PM

I’m excited about the intelligence we could get from this…wait, are we even allowed to question these guys any more or does that constitute “emotional badgering” or some such nonsense?

NTWR on February 15, 2007 at 7:02 PM

I don’t think NBC would report good news like this unless they were forced to because it was true.

forged rite on February 15, 2007 at 7:03 PM

BTW, is there a pledge we can sign about that House non-binding resolution like the one for the Senate non-binding resolution?

If so, I want to sign!

NTWR on February 15, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Wounded but not killed?

Pfft, martyr poseur assclown.

Enrique on February 15, 2007 at 5:54 PM

We agree! Mistletow…

Still, great news!!!

Entelechy on February 15, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Who won’t listen to him anymore? Abu Powerdrill? Who remains to listen to him? It’s clear and hold Allah. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon and if the crackdown works we’re a step closer to reconciliation and if reconciliation comes Sadr is going to return to an Iraq he doesn’t recognize. Minus the hardest of the hardcore that stayed behind to get killed or captured by the us and the IA.

My thoughts exactly. Seems to me some peoples critical thinking skills need some work. By the time (if it comes at all) the chubby “cleric” makes it back to Iraq he won’t recognize it. What’s he gonna do, come back with his 20 associates and attack the US and the IA?

Capitalist Infidel on February 15, 2007 at 7:08 PM

Any word from that “hero” of the left, Yellow Murtha???

Zorro on February 15, 2007 at 7:09 PM

If the Administration has half a PR brain, they will take this and get out in front of some camera’s and microphones and ask: “Some are saying Iraq is seperate from the War on Terror, but how can this be when we are regularly fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq, such as Zarqawi and this guy”

jp on February 15, 2007 at 7:10 PM

Just across on Fox News: US military is not confirming that Al Masri has been captured.

Bugler on February 15, 2007 at 7:13 PM

NBC evening news with Bri says he escaped. are they late to the story?

moflicky on February 15, 2007 at 7:18 PM

It’s so nice to see that the ‘Rats still have their sense of timing.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

steveegg on February 15, 2007 at 7:18 PM

I wish they would just micro chip some of the ones they capture and then let them go. They would lead us right to the terrorist leaders. I think it would work like a charm.

Democrat party headquarters wouldn’t like that. They’d have to install microchip blockers.

SouthernGent on February 15, 2007 at 7:20 PM

We agree! Mistletow…

Awwwwww. Happy belated Valentine’s Day! :)

Enrique on February 15, 2007 at 7:20 PM

we got him! NICELY DONE!
Congratulation boys

Defector01 on February 15, 2007 at 7:21 PM

NBC says we got him.

This won’t mean anything until an actual news reporter confirms it with the U.S. military.

Jaibones on February 15, 2007 at 7:23 PM

It added Sadr supported the crackdown…

Mookie F. Kerry was against the crackdown before he was for it.

dinasour on February 15, 2007 at 7:24 PM

WEEEEEE!!!!

Just when Murtha was about to suggest to Congress that we surrender… He must be disappointed.

x95b10 on February 15, 2007 at 7:26 PM

Mookie F. Kerry was against the crackdown before he was for it.

dinasour on February 15, 2007 at 7:24 PM

I nominate that for the line of the day.

steveegg on February 15, 2007 at 7:26 PM

I can hear Pelosi’s blinking from here…….. and is that the sound of the skin on her face stretching?

It’s either that or Murtha just had an accident in his Depends………..

PinkyBigglesworth on February 15, 2007 at 7:36 PM

When we got al Zarqawi, several of the fence-sitting tribes in al Anbar decided to cooperate with the government. If this is true and this guy is in custody, I would expect to see several more of the tribes that have been playing “wait and see” to side with the government too. If we got this guy, or more specifically, if the Iraqis got him, it is going to be a major morale event for all sides concerned.

crosspatch on February 15, 2007 at 7:38 PM

with the debates going on in Washington and what is at stake politically, I am not concerned just by Iran funding the “insurgency”, I’d also keep an eye on George Soros and the other anti-american socialist clowns.

jp on February 15, 2007 at 7:41 PM

If this is true the administration needs to shout this from the mountain tops.
They’ve got to highlight the successes, because the MSM ain’t gonna do it.
They also should be making hay with Mookie running for the hills. Its time they started to dominate the news cycle.

Iblis on February 15, 2007 at 7:49 PM

It’s fun reading some of the comments about this at Huffpo

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/02/15/leader-of-al-qaeda-in-ira_n_41342.html

Someone took a shot a Bush!!! Hurrah!

By: LittleGreenBaseBallz on February 15, 2007 at 05:17pm

No, conservatives, this is not proof that Al Qaeda was working with Saddam prior to 9/11. Let’s get that straight:

AL QAEDA WAS NOT IN IRAQ UNTIL BUSH LET THEM IN.

Rich Hudson (BigCynic.com)

Read “Bush’s four Big Lies about Iraq”:
http://www.bigcynic.com/2007/02/the_four_big_li.html

By: bigcynicdotcom on February 15, 2007 at 05:19pm

The surge MUST not work. It will only embolden America to invade other countries rather than try to work with so-called terrorists and to understand their demands.

By: BigLib on February 15, 2007 at 05:37pm

greggish on February 15, 2007 at 7:56 PM

By the way, that last comment above by BigLib I think is really John Cougar Mellencamp.

greggish on February 15, 2007 at 7:59 PM

I thought Al Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq.

Let’s take our mind off this inconvenient truth with some nonsense about climate global warming change.

benrand on February 15, 2007 at 8:06 PM

The surge MUST not work. It will only embolden America to invade other countries rather than try to work with so-called terrorists and to understand their demands.

By: BigLib on February 15, 2007 at 05:37pm

Wow, the mask is slipping off…

Max Power on February 15, 2007 at 8:07 PM

Wow, the mask is slipping off…

Max Power on February 15, 2007 at 8:07 PM

That’s no slip. That’s a bold declaration that this person DEMANDS WE LOSE to “so-called” terrorists! That’s a liberal for you. Man I hate liberal ideology.

Guardian on February 15, 2007 at 8:12 PM

Their demands are pretty simple, really. Convert to Islam, dissolve your representative government and install one run by their clerics, and adopt Sharia as the law of the land.

Liberals shouldn’t have any problem at all giving up notions such as equal rights for women and homosexuals. That’s all the Islamists are demanding. BigLib doesn’t seem to have a problem with that at all.

crosspatch on February 15, 2007 at 8:13 PM

This post was on Huffpo… This is what we’re dealing with folks. Sick.

The surge MUST not work. It will only embolden America to invade other countries rather than try to work with so-called terrorists and to understand their demands.

By: BigLib on February 15, 2007 at 05:37pm

x95b10 on February 15, 2007 at 8:15 PM

What always amazes me …

… is how many of these guys are named Al.

What’s “Al” short for … Albert, Alvin, Alphonse, Aloysius, Alabama … or all of the above?

Just imagine walking into a mosque … and saying “Hey, Al!”

Stand back … or get trampled.

Lisa Condo on February 15, 2007 at 8:31 PM

I do wish …

… that folks would stop referring to our political opponents as “liberals.”

There’s nothing “liberal” about socialism and authoritarianism. In fact … it is we who are the true liberals … believers in freedom.

The correct term for them is “leftist.”

Lisa Condo on February 15, 2007 at 8:34 PM

Awwwwww. Happy belated Valentine’s Day! :)

Enrique on February 15, 2007 at 7:20 PM

It’s never too late for love :) Especially when we agree on such a significant topic.

Entelechy on February 15, 2007 at 8:36 PM

I don’t think NBC would report good news like this unless they were forced to because it was true.
forged rite on February 15, 2007 at 7:03 PM

Sure they would, then take two weeks to blame Bush for NOT catching him.

I’m excited about the intelligence we could get from this…wait, are we even allowed to question these guys any more or does that constitute “emotional badgering” or some such nonsense?
NTWR on February 15, 2007 at 7:02 PM

Maybe that’s why we don’t “have him in custody”…maybe he’s in one of our secret cave prisons so we can ‘talk’ to him.

shooter on February 15, 2007 at 8:52 PM

ya know Al TIKRITI fits all those “X’s” for jamil whoever…don’t suppose he really is from Tikrit?

Al = from or ‘of’. They use the name of their town/tribe Sadamm was an Al Tikriti – from Tikrit.

shooter on February 15, 2007 at 8:55 PM

Do I hear the sound of a BINDING death certifcate in the backgroun????

HarryStar on February 15, 2007 at 8:58 PM

Update: Damn it, I knew it was too good to be true — NBC has removed the paragraph from its story about al-Masri’s capture. No correction of acknowledgement of any mistake, naturally. No wonder they like Olbermann so much.

Yeah, I was going to caution people about that. NBC is the same organization who had a reporter in Iraq announce that ALL the troops he talked to oppose the surge and want out. NBC is a shameful organization… It’s like they want to be the new CBS.

RightWinged on February 15, 2007 at 9:01 PM

NBC has removed the paragraph from its story about al-Masri’s capture.

Grrrrrr. And to think, I drank eight beers to celebrate. Hic.

Enrique on February 15, 2007 at 9:10 PM

I saw the link to NBC earlier on Drudge saying he was captured, read the story, and saw nothing saying he was sacked up.

With the US denying it, perhaps it was an all Iraqi action which captured him.

The Iraqi’s seem to have no qualms “questioning” these terrorists. Hopefully that is the case and they’ll share the intel…after a few days of questioning.

91Veteran on February 15, 2007 at 9:24 PM

Pajamas Media says Al Masri has not been captured.

Bugler on February 15, 2007 at 9:42 PM

I believe it is pretty much impossible to do a DNA test in less than 24 hours. I believe 72 hours is the norm. It took a week to do Zarqawi’s.

crosspatch on February 15, 2007 at 10:36 PM

I won’t believe it until I’m gnawing on his rotting skull

Mojomatrix on February 15, 2007 at 10:57 PM

Sadr is thuggish, but someone we can work with. Kill all the guys who are bad and there won’t be anyone left.

So we kill off the most radical, extreme elements of the Mahdi militia, and Sadr and the conservatives go political. Seems pretty reasonable, for Iraq.

TallDave on February 15, 2007 at 11:25 PM

Good lord, I have to desarc my monitor. Not deguass, mind you…

Mazztek on February 15, 2007 at 11:59 PM

The surge MUST not work. It will only embolden America to invade other countries rather than try to work with so-called terrorists and to understand their demands.

By: BigLib on February 15, 2007 at 05:37pm
greggish on February 15, 2007 at 7:56 PM

There you have it, the truth. Not only does BigLib hope for America’s defeat in Iraq, but he/she would like to sit down with the “so-called terrorists” to talk and work things out – you know, like reasonable people do (as I’m sure jihadis are).

Rick on February 16, 2007 at 12:24 AM

Despite my desire to see this terrorist ‘neutralized, from we know right now the probability is very high that this story is a stretch.

Lawrence on February 15, 2007 at 6:50 PM

I so had my hopes up that I would be proven wrong on this.

Lawrence on February 16, 2007 at 12:32 AM

Another change in tactics: al Qaeda has deployed a screen of antiaircraft weapons around Baghdad – in an attempt to cut off American and allied attempts at aerial reconnaissance.
Al Masri is trying to force troops into dangerous ground patrols where they can killed by roadside bombs or snipers.

“Launch the fighters……. get the B-5′s warmed up in the bull pen… [insert chewing tobacco]….. get me the President on the line……….”

Surge? With one hand still tied behind our backs, and Murtha [Mr. Depends.... oops] and Mz. Pelosi [blink.... blink... blink........ [I need another skin graft].. about to give up the ship?

The United States of America, in my opinion will never win another war in the age of politcal correctness.

My advice, kill political correctness….. then kill our enemies. Seriously, that’s what they want to do to us, isn’t it? Can’t anyone face that fact?

Let’s get back to a country that honors our Founding Fathers, believes in God, a family with a Mother and Father, the Pledge of Allegience, the Boy Scouts of America, Honesty, Fair Play, Truth without nuance, and the belief that it is OK to try to free people from tyranny and opression, as well as defending ourselves.

Time to purge the “socialists” from our education system so as not to pollute our children’s minds [reference to the San Francisco comic book] and our beloved liberal professors [reference to Ward Churchill, et al].

Time to grow some stones, people, the writing is on the wall….

Anyone hear what Bank of America is doing lately?????

PinkyBigglesworth on February 16, 2007 at 12:34 AM

The correct term for them is “leftist.”

Lisa Condo on February 15, 2007 at 8:34 PM

Correct, I have been guilty using the “liberal” word. They are leftists, far lefts, and left the planet.

And “faraway” has a correct post:

When will you people get in through your thick skulls.
There is no Al Qaeda in Iraq.
faraway on February 15, 2007 at 5:41 PM

They were probably a group preparing for the “climate change” concert.

right2bright on February 16, 2007 at 8:45 AM

Reader Gary H. e-mails to say I’m giving Khalaf a bad rap and that it’s the AP’s fault, not Khalaf’s, that Jamil Hussein wasn’t ID’d on the first go round.

I’m glag that was fixed. The AP has fooled too many people with this. How could Khalaf (or anyone else) know that Jamil Hussein was not his real name? The statement that there is no Capt. with the name Jamil Hussein is completely true.

taznar on February 16, 2007 at 10:36 AM

Let’s get back to a country that honors our Founding Fathers, believes in God, a family with a Mother and Father, the Pledge of Allegience, the Boy Scouts of America, Honesty, Fair Play, Truth without nuance, and the belief that it is OK to try to free people from tyranny and opression, as well as defending ourselves.

PinkyBigglesworth on February 16, 2007 at 12:34 AM

Great statement. Mind if I use that quote?

Guardian on February 16, 2007 at 11:07 AM

NBC= natioanl baffon commentatorsThey are sinking faster than olberducheman. Sickening Leftists for sure not even liberals anymore. WHERE IS THIS COUNTRY GOING TO ANYWAYS?

bones47 on February 16, 2007 at 1:02 PM