Friday, March 09, 2007

Head of the Islamic State of Iraq Reported In Custody

Iraqi government sources say they've arrrested the shadowy head of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi along with several other insurgents in a raid in the town of Abu Ghraib. (AP)


The Islamic State of Iraq is described by Global Security as "supported by al-Qaeda". But the organization has also be showered by congratulations from Iran. It seemed very active in the public relations front, commenting on British withdrawals and cheering on the Islamic Courts in Somalia. Yet it did not appear to be entirely a paper mill. Recently the Jawa Report focused on a disastrous defeat it suffered at the hands of Iraqi forces in the Falluja environs which emphasizes the al-Qaeda connection.

The AP story suggests that al-Baghdadi's capture was part of a wider collapse, a large part of which has been at the hands of Iraqi forces.

The reported arrest followed rumors this week that al-Baghdadi's brother had been arrested in a raid near Tikrit. On Wednesday, the Islamic State in Iraq claimed in a Web posting that its members stormed a northern Iraqi prison the previous day and freed 150 inmates there. The statement said the raid was personally ordered by al-Baghdadi. Iraqi police had said gunmen stormed the Badoosh prison, 15 miles northwest of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, and freed about 140 inmates, going cell to cell, then fled themselves.

Unlike al-Zarqawi, virtually nothing is known of al-Baghdadi, including his real name. It is widely assumed that the name al-Baghdadi was taken as part of a campaign to make al-Qaeda appear more of a homegrown Iraqi movement rather than an organization dominated by foreigners.

All in all, a pretty interesting story to follow


The Iraq Slogger reports that al-Baghdadi is a very prominent Sunni whose lineage can be traced to the Prophet. It identifies him as a "Salafist", which more or less means he subscribes to the religious tenets popular in Saudi Arabia.


Blogger allen said...

Yes, yes, but the Really Big Shoe at Drudge is: "War: Dems Pull Out Of Foxnews Debate".

Where is the real war on al-Qaida being waged, again? We must have our priorities.

3/09/2007 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger pst314 said...

Something's wrong with the blog: It cuts off in the middle of the preceding "This is London" post immediately after this passage:

"But at any rate, here's a video clip of the Aitken interview:"

When I view the source, I see plenty more HTML after that, so maybe there's an unterminated metatag that's messing things up.

3/09/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


Thanks for the heads up. Have fixed.

3/09/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I wonder if this will kick off another 5 weeks of front page NYT stories about the shame of Abu Ghraib? Somebody thugishly shanghaied this poor fellow at the American gulag / torture center. That can't be a good thing.

Allan - yes, I guess we can't call the Dems "liberals" anymore can we? O wait, I'm just a stickler for actual word meanings. They're not.

Censoring the press, limiting debate, all that stuff in the First Amendment, time to move on from that old stuff. The Constitution is a living document.

U.S. Constitution: First Amendment - Religion and Expression

Ooops, sorry to go off on a tear. Back to the war. That bit about gunmen freeing prisoners doesn't sound promising.

Still, in the larger war, something must be cracking our way. In the past, the censors would never have let something like this get through in an AP story: The purported arrest comes at a time when the Baghdad security operation is showing early signs of progress in curbing violence. Car bombings have decreased in frequency, even in the 21st paragraph.

(And I agree, the site is acting weird, I just somehow got to a Wretchard home page at the fallback.belmont link?)

3/09/2007 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


With all the talk lately about pursuing al-Qaida, it seemed passing strange that the capture of the biggest al-Qaida fish in Iraq would get so little traction. How long would the capture of bin Laden or Dr. Z remain in the headlines? Sometimes, this whole business seems to have nothing to do with al-Qaida at all.

By the way, ironically, the capture did occur at Abu Ghraib.

3/09/2007 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Tigerhawk is also, apparently, having some doubts about the patriotic sincerity of some in the Congress.

“Democrats seeking votes for their Iraq-withdrawal plan have stuffed the bill it's in with billions of dollars for farms, flu preparedness, New Orleans levees, home heating and other causes.”

The price of surrender in Iraq just went up

3/09/2007 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Over at CTB, Andrew Cochran says:
Another Iraqi Report of Baghdadi's Capture: Wait For U.S. Confirmation

Once again, an Iraqi official has announced the capture of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq. And as I write, there hasn't been a confirmation of the capture by U.S. officials. This happened on March 4, during which I wrote, "We've seen numerous false claims by the Iraqis of a major kill, capture, or injury of important insurgents." That trial balloon popped on March 5 when it became apparent that Baghdadi hadn't been captured. The fact that today's claim came from Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman of the Baghdad security operation, instead of from a local official as on March 4, provides only a slight measure of comfort. Now, as in every instance of a claimed major kill, injury, or capture, the key is to wait for confirmation by U.S. officials. So don't pop the bubbly yet - again. March 9, 2007 04:25 PM

3/09/2007 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Lord Acton said...

And, of course, if Bush were to decide to pull all of the troops out a.s.a.p. tomorrow, we would be deluged with the MSM and the Dems and the Euros suddenly howling with outrage, their new arguments 180 degrees opposite to their current when the official enemy kept changing in Orwell's 1984. CNN and the NYT would sound like Fox News and the Weekly Standard; Obama and Murtha would sound like Guilliani and McCain, telling us why George Bush's plan to pull out of Iraq would be a horrific mistake!

As they have demonstrated so thoroughly with the Environment (global warming is threat numero uno, but no nukes, no hydro damns, no bird killing/view killing wind turbines, etc.), they exist to whine and oppose. And their East their North their West and their South is to oppose whatever the U.S. is for, no matter what the U.S. is currently for.

If Bush signed on the Kyoto tomorrow, we'd finally here what a piece of shit that is and probably most Dems in the Senate would oppose ratification!

3/10/2007 03:56:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...


If we did capture Osama, Zawahiri and Mullah Omar, would that mean the War on Terror is won and over?

You know, while the Democrats cry crocodile tears over our 800 military deaths per year in the war, they ignore 16,000 murders per year in America, and our inner cities are experiencing a huge crime SURGE now. If the War in Iraq is a disaster after 4 years, what is the War on Poverty after 50 years?

If they follow form, the capture of Osama will be followed by deliberate, willful ignorance of terror in all the rest of the world ... just like they ignored our embassies being bombed, the attack on the Cole and all the rest during the 90's, they'll ignore Hezbollah, Hamas, Abu Sayaf, and countless Islamist terror campaigns around the world.

(Ps. My note above about Wretchard's home page - was just me stupidly clicking the link above The Belmont Club in my Favorites - apologies for stupidities.)

Wretchard’s Portal

3/10/2007 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


re: "If we did capture Osama, Zawahiri and Mullah Omar, would that mean the War on Terror is won and over?"

To those who insist that the struggle against Islam is the matter of law enforcement, the scenario you relate might well signal the end of the necessity for militancy. Obviously, the RoP meme reinforces this notion. If Islam is essentially good, then, the removal of some few miscreants will right the world.

3/10/2007 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Bill Roggio says:

For the third time this week, Abu Omar al-Bagdadi, the leader of al-Qaeda's political front organization the Islamic State of Iraq, was reported captured by the Iraqi Interior Ministry. And for the third time this week, Baghdadi's capture turned out to be untrue. On March 4th, Baghdadi was reportedly captured in Duluiya in Salahadin province. Baghdadi was then reported to have been captured in the Dora neighborhood Baghdad on March 5th. Yesterday, Baghdadi was reported to have been captured in Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry has now denied the latest claim, however a senior al-Qaeda leader was arrested during a raid in Abu Ghraib. "After preliminary investigations, it was proven that the arrested al-Qaida person is not Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, but, in fact, another important al-Qaida official," said Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Mousawi, the Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman. "Interrogations and investigations are still under way to get more information." The March 5th raid in Duluiya is said to have netted Abdullah Latif al-Jaburi - aka Abu Abdullah - the second in command of the Islamic State in Iraq. Announcements on the capture of death of senior al-Qaeda and insurgent leaders should be taken with a healthy does of skepticism.

3/10/2007 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger USpace said...

Good news for sure...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
abandon the Iraqis

just like in Vietnam
nothing is worth fighting for

3/23/2007 05:34:00 PM  

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