The London Times reports this morning that Zarqawi and his al Qaeda associates are changing their strategy, due to a “shortage of foreign fighters willing to undertake suicide missions.” Relying on “US intelligence sources,” the Times says that Zarqawi intends to assemble an actual military force:
Zarqawi wants to turn his group into a more traditional force mounting co-ordinated guerrilla raids on coalition targets.
Al-Qaeda is sending training and planning experts to help to set up the force and infiltrate members into Iraq with the assistance of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the sources said.
The Times writes, keeping a straight face:
The change of strategy will make it easier for Zarqawi to link up with Iraqi insurgents and evade the allied special operations teams trying to track him down.
Yeah, right. Actually, taking the field as an armed force would make it easier for Zarqawi and his associates to be more or less instantaneously killed. File this one in the “too good to be true” category. Or maybe those “U.S. intelligence sources” are engaging in a bit of disinformation.
The Times also notes, as has been reported previously, that the special forces unit that is tasked with tracking down Zarqawi nearly captured him a couple of weeks ago.