Zarqawi is alive and well. That’s what I think, anyway. We’ve reported rumors of his capture or imminent demise several times, so I’ve gotten pretty jaded. Today there was a report in an Arabic paper that Zarqawi was wounded in the fighting going on near the Syrian border. An Iraqi official was quoted saying that Zarqawi was captured, or almost captured, or dead, or something–it wasn’t clear. We asked Haider Ajina to look at the original Arabic report and give us his thoughts. Here is his reply:
I found the article in Arabic it is written by Usameh Mehdi. In reading the article at first it appears that indeed Zarqawi was wounded. But as I read further into the details they refer to him being wounded and treated in Ramadi hospital and escaping 10 minutes before the security forces arrived. As you know this happened a few days ago. I believe the translation was sloppy. This makes it sound as if we just
wounded Zarqawi, when in fact the article refers to the Ramadi hospital incident.
I have not yet found corroborating information from Iraqi news agencies.
Needless to say, I’m hoping that by expressing pessimism rather than optimism, I can avoid jinxing the effort to capture (or, preferably, kill) the master terrorist. But it does seem that for now, at least, he is still at large.