#2 in Iraq captured

From NYT:

American and Iraqi troops have captured the man who supervised the bombers of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, an act that set off a wave of brutal sectarian violence, the Iraqi national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, said Sunday.

In a statement broadcast on national television, Mr. Rubaie said the second-ranking leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, Hamid Juma Faris Jouri al-Saeedi, was captured several days ago as he hid among Iraqi families in a residential building. He said that Mr. Saeedi was operating near Baquba, north of Baghdad, in the area where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of the terrorist organization, had sought refuge before he was killed in an American airstrike three months ago.

Mr. Rubaie described Mr. Saeedi as Al Qaeda’s deputy commander in Iraq, serving beneath Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who took over the organization after Mr. Zarqawi’s death. If that characterization is true, it would suggest that Mr. Saeedi is the most senior Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia leader killed or captured since an American F-16 fighter bombed Mr. Zarqawi’s safe house on June 7.

However, a United States military official was more cautious in describing Mr. Saeedi’s place in the organization’s pecking order. While he was a “top-tier guy” who supervised those who carried out the Samarra bombing, “I’m not sure we are ready to put a number on him,” said the American official, who agreed to speak only without being named because Iraqi officials had been designated to announce the capture. “It’s a very decentralized operation.” more

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How many times have we captured the Al Qaeda’s #2 in Iraq or Afghanistan?  3 – 5 times?  With Al Zarqawi dead, wouldn’t the number 2 become the #1?  All I know is the violence comtinues in Iraq.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

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