Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Al-Qaeda 'Voice of Caliphate' Producer: Replacement Sought

Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is having a bit of an employment problem. His top lieutenants are being captured or killed before they follow up their terror projects. Ambitious underlings are eager to take over, but high turnover raises serious issues for al-Zarqawi. Retention and jealousy are now a problem because newcomers do not receive the generous salaries and benefits of older colleagues.

There are also fewer qualified candidates. While al-Qaeda terror training camps around the globe provide uniformly excellent skills, every intelligence agency has infiltrated its infidels among al-Qaeda's ranks by now. Selection is more time-consuming just as al-Zarqawi has less time and the trust issue is most dire.

U.S. and Iraqi authorities said Tuesday their forces claimed a "painful blow" in killing al-Qaeda in Iraq's No. 2 official during a weekend Baghdad raid. Abdullah Abu Azzam led al-Qaeda's operations in Baghdad, planning a brutal wave of suicide bombings in the capital since April, killing hundreds of people — including police, army recruits and day labourers, officials said. According to an Associated Press tally, 698 people have been killed and 1,579 have been wounded since April 1 in suicide attacks in Baghdad.

Mr. Abu Azzam "personally planned and ordered suicide car bomb attacks" in Baghdad and was responsible for financing for the group and its "international communications," Mr. Kubba said. He undoubtedly financed al-Qaeda's Voice of the Caliphate.

Mr. Abu Azzam's death was followed by two other successes against al-Qaeda in Iraq's leadership, officials said — the group's leader in the northern city of Mosul surrendered to the Iraqi military, and its leader in the town of Karabila in the sensitive region near the Syrian border was killed.


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