Breaking: Leader of “Islamic State of Iraq” captured? Update: Ratted out? Update: Maliki associate confirms?

posted at 3:44 pm on March 9, 2007 by Allahpundit

Just across on Fox, quoting the AP. Iraqi troops say they caught him north of Baghdad; Fox is waiting for confirmation from Washington. Looks like it’s real for this time. Let’s hope so, as I’m getting tired of writing these posts.

Cross your fingers and standby.

Update: Damn it — the report’s coming from Iraqi state television, which blew the story about the Ramadi soccer field bombing.

Iraqiya did not say whether U.S. or Iraqi troops had arrested Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq, a body set up by al Qaeda’s Iraq wing and other Sunni militant groups in October.

It said he was captured in the Abu Ghraib area, which is on the western outskirts of Baghdad.

Still no U.S. confirmation yet.

Update: Iraqi MOI may have figured out his secret identity only very recently. His name, allegedly? Khalid al-Mashhadani. Why’s that significant? Because according to Nibras Kazimi, Iraq’s Speaker of Parliament and Vice President are both members of the al-Mashhadani tribe. Have they known all along? And what happens if it turns out they have?

Update: True or not, we’re continuing to roll up other Sunni jihadis. This morning we got “the Butcher,” whoever the hell he is, and an Al Qaeda “media emir” a.k.a. courier north of Mosul. It’d be sweet if one of them ratted Baghdadi out.

Update: Meanwhile in Baghdad, the U.S. is demonstrating its resolve by building a spacious base inside Sadr City. And Maliki is following Petraeus’s lead in symbolically taking back the city by heading out for a stroll.


Update: Texas Rainmaker e-mails and points at the lede in the AP’s article: “The leader of the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq was captured Friday in a raid west of Baghdad — his identity revealed by a fellow insurgent detained with him, an Iraqi military spokesman said.” Slogger points to another AP article claiming that a “prominent Iraqi Shiite” who’s close to Maliki has confirmed the capture.

Update: Stratfor says this may be a big propaganda score but operationally it’s not that big a deal. Which makes sense: everyone knows that if you want to break a network, the guys to get are the couriers.

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Just like the Romulan Empire, the next in line is ready to step up.


JayHaw Phrenzie on March 9, 2007 at 3:46 PM

Is it last week again? Have I been smoking too much “medical marijuana”?

lorien1973 on March 9, 2007 at 3:47 PM

What about the “homeopathic hash” and “osteopathic opium”?

xardoz on March 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM

So… the Iraqis have him, we hope. Question… do the Iraqi forces have any kind of political correctness restraints on their own use of torture? I’m sure they’d like to use everything at their disposal to extract some truth from this scumbag.

flutejpl on March 9, 2007 at 3:51 PM

JayHaw, I demand the right of statement.

Anil Petra on March 9, 2007 at 3:52 PM

I’m getting tired of these stories breaking and un-breaking over and over again. When we finally manage to capture Bin Laden (or Zawahiri) for real, will anyone even believe it at this point?

Watcher on March 9, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Mashaddani? I’ve heard that name before.

see-dubya on March 9, 2007 at 4:07 PM

And I thought I was a cynic.

Kick soccer balls at his head until he talks.
It must be humane, otherwise they wouldn’t let kids do it.

spd rdr on March 9, 2007 at 4:11 PM

see-dubya, it’s time for a new server. He was caught, uncaught, and recaught again in the time it took for that page to load, my friend.

Bob Owens on March 9, 2007 at 4:17 PM

Best way to read these posts is chew up three of these and wash them down with this.

Stephen M on March 9, 2007 at 4:19 PM

AP, we really need a “crime family” flow chart to keep all these “Ali Bubba”s straight……. You know, “who is Tony Soprano and who is Pauli?”

They could “arrest” the King of Persia, and I wouldn’t know who they were talking about………

PinkyBigglesworth on March 9, 2007 at 4:25 PM

Seems like there’s been a steady stream of good news since the surge began. Wonder who’s sweating more, the jihadis or the Dems?

RedWinged Blackbird on March 9, 2007 at 4:27 PM

AL Jazeera Arabic is also reporting that these raids caught Al Queda just not who

William Amos on March 9, 2007 at 4:37 PM

CNN is now reporting that the Iraq Interior Ministry has told them, he was captured. They have a breaking news bar:

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the militant group Islamic State of Iraq, has been arrested in western Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry tells CNN.

amerpundit on March 9, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Warm up the gallows for Mr. Baghdadi.

Verbal Abuse on March 9, 2007 at 4:43 PM

I back PinkyBigglesworth, in the call for a crime family chart.

amerpundit on March 9, 2007 at 4:47 PM

Way off topic, but remember the Cherryvale mall bomber – instantly proclaimed a lone nut? “Accused bomb-plotter linked to a another alleged terrorist ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR ROCKFORD — Accused CherryVale Mall terrorist Derrick Shareef was linked this week to another alleged terrorist who, authorities say, plotted to kill members of the United States Navy and was arrested Wednesday. According to a Justice Department affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, Shareef and Hassan Abujihaad, who also goes by the name Paul Hall, were roommates in Phoenix in 2004.” DKK

LifeTrek on March 9, 2007 at 4:48 PM

That’s two in less than ten days. Way to go boys! Keep reeling em in!

NEMETI IN SYRACUSE on March 9, 2007 at 4:49 PM

This is what happens when you stop acting so passively
Keep it up!

Defector01 on March 9, 2007 at 4:51 PM


lorien1973 on March 9, 2007 at 4:54 PM

And I thought I was a cynic.

Kick soccer balls at his head until he talks.
It must be humane, otherwise they wouldn’t let kids do it.

spd rdr on March 9, 2007 at 4:11 PM

You haved heared? They out lawed dodge ball.

– The Cat

MirCat on March 9, 2007 at 4:55 PM

The Iraqi policy toward torture is to get the Americans out of the way before interrogation starts. One of the stories missed from the transition of Abu Ghraib back to the Iraqis (did you know that this occurred almost a year ago?) was that the prisoners wanted us back because we were nicer to them.
I’d like the Iraqis to start the interrogation-trial-execution routine soon, just so they don’t end up with the same mess we have at Gitmo.

old_dawg on March 9, 2007 at 5:12 PM

Hope Wal-Mart has a special on waterboards, we are going to need a few more in the coming weeks.

There is a water spill on Aisle 8.

right2bright on March 9, 2007 at 6:15 PM

lightbright, I heard K-mart had a blue light special on waterboards but Halliburton still got the contract. Is there anything Dick Cheney can’t do?

Lorien is correct, surgmania, baby!

Tony737 on March 10, 2007 at 2:37 AM

Do we have a US Confirmation yet?

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on March 10, 2007 at 7:51 AM

Looks like another false alarm.

I’m going to institute a personal policy of not paying attention to news of any high-profile capture in Iraq until it has survived at least three days unchanged.

SailorDave on March 10, 2007 at 9:00 AM

Until it’s confirmed by Centcom or other reliable source, I generally won’t blog about it.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on March 10, 2007 at 12:53 PM