Patterico's Pontifications


Is Zawahiri Wounded or Dead? (Updated)

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 8:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hot Air has the details, including possible confirmation from CBS News.

I hope this is true. From everything I’ve read, Zawahiri is more important than Osama Bin Laden from an operational standpoint.

We know US interests are working to infiltrate al Qaeda and that drones have been used in attacks in the tribal areas. It seems plausible that the American military may have been given even greater latitude in the tribal areas in the past days or weeks.

Recent statements by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm Mike Mullen show that the US has been pressuring Pakistan to let the US military pursue targets in the tribal areas. In addition, Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani was in Washington DC for three days including Monday meetings with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Rice, and others. Perhaps those meetings gave the US military greater access or solidified its ability to track high value targets like Zawahiri.

Or maybe we just got lucky.

UPDATE 8/2/2008: Fox News reports that a spokesman for Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud “categorically denied” the Zawahiri report in a telephone call to the AP.


11 Responses to “Is Zawahiri Wounded or Dead? (Updated)”

  1. I have one site I follow which will remain nameless, but almost a month ago they reported Big Z might have taken a dirt nap but DNA tests had not been done and that part was rated as weak intel.

    Now the more interesting tid bit they were saying at the time and linked back to today in a newer post is that the word is that Adam Gadahn was captured and under interrogation.

    That had better confirms but still only from a single source so it may need to be taken with a grain of salt.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  2. Amazing, isn’t it, how much luck goes to the bold in life and in war?

    Ed (59b337)

  3. I hope they are right, daytrader.

    Ed – Point taken. It’s the “luck” that comes from hard work and persistence.

    DRJ (68f27b)

  4. I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. — Thomas Jefferson

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  5. Zawahiri is almost certainly completely fine right now. The only source we have on this is the Pakastini intelligence community that has just come under fire for destroying India’s embassy in Kabul.

    Often, when the Pakistani terrorists in government run into a big blunder like that, they release a news release meant to take attention away from the problem. The CIA and the other fed agencies are denying any credible evidence that Zawahiri is dead or wounded… and frankly, the letter idea for infections just sounds absurd and too obvious… why wouldn’t they use a code or just ask for medical supplies?

    I’m afraid this is yet another time our hopes have gotten high only to be let down. We are doing a pretty good job in this war, don’t get me wrong, but Al Qaida knows how to hide its dead leaders like they have with Osama… they aren’t going to send out a letter like this and make themselves look totally impotent.

    The timing is just too damn good for the Pakistani government terrorists who are undermining our war effort.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  6. Yep, I suspect that the ISI is lying to us.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  7. Hmmm, This is off thread but is someone messing with this site? This is the first time in 2 days it has worked.

    james conrad (b2891a)

  8. Pakistan is the reason why Obama’s comments on Afghanistan are so delusional. Look at a map for crissakes ! Without Pakistan, Afghanistan is untenable. We have an enormous logistics problem that makes a larger force there a tremendous burden. If Pakistan falls to the bad guys, a distinct possibility I think, we will have to evacuate our entire force. We are building bases in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan but they are also very landlocked with unfriendly Russia next door. He just doesn’t understand anything about these things. I guess community organizing doesn’t deal with logistics much.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  9. Fox News reports that a spokesman for Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud “categorically denied” the Zawahiri report in a telephone call to the AP.

    After Baghdad Bob’s denials that American forces were in Baghdad (while our tanks could be heard in the background), I would take any blanket denial of negative events just a bit skeptically…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  10. Never admit you blew the slime balls to their ’72 raisin’ heaven. Always say they were playing with their bomb belt and blew themselves to hell, er, Islamist heaven.

    Scrapiron (d671ab)

  11. Well I think some are looking at stats like how many standard deviations from 2 year running average of days between broadcasts or tapes.

    daytrader (ea6549)

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