Man Without Qualities

Friday, June 09, 2006

Catching Some Z's

Ding, dong the Z-man is dead! And it is right and meet and just to celebrate June 7, the day after D-Day, as Z-Day.

But June 7 was not just the day Abu Musab al Zarqawi went to claim his virgins (or his grapes - the "virgins" who the Koran supposedly promises await Islamic martyrs in paradise may just be ''white raisins'') and the Iraqi government moved towards completion with the key appointments of two apparently competent and appropriate ministers. It is also the day on which Allied and Iraqi forces moved to seize well over a dozen insurgent sites, sites said to have been monitored for weeks and disclosed to the Allies and Iraqis by the same sources that fingered the Z-Man. The seizure of these sites is said to have yielded a "treasure trove" of intelligence pertaining to the insurgency.

Al Qaida is said to have a "cellular" structure - meaning that the location of, and other information pertaining to, its components is supposed to be very closely held. Members of each component generally are not supposed to possess information pertaining to other components. Yet the information source who turned in al Zarqawi apparently had lots of information about a large number of components. All that suggests that the intelligence source within the Zarqawi camp was very highly placed indeed.

How high? Well, on June 7 Strategy Page ran this curious and fairly amazing item (thanks to Saint Onge for drawing my attention):

Zarqawi Scheduled for Martyrdom

June 7, 2006: The relationship between terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi and and the mainline al Qaeda leadership continues to deteriorate. Zarqawi's recent audio messages have not only attacked the U.S. and the Shia-dominated government in Iraq, but also Iran. He's even claiming that the U.S., Iran, and Shia in general, are in cahoots to destroy Islam. He has also called for continued attacks against Shia.

Except for his verbal attacks on the U.S. and the Iraqi government, he is almost totally distanced himself from the central leadership. Other al Qaeda leaders have been trying to down play anti-Iranian and anti-Shia rhetoric, and have been strongly discouraging attacks on civilians.

Given that Zarqawi has become a loose cannon and that his actions are handicapping Al Qaeda's efforts, it seems reasonable to expect that an accident may befall him at some point in the near future. If handled right it can be made to look like he went out in a blaze of glory fighting American troops or that he was foully murdered. Either way, al Qaeda gets rid of a problem and gains another "martyr."
Saint Onge points out that the timing of this post is remarkable, which it is if the post went up before reports of the hit appeared.

Regardless of when the post went up, it's contents are surely remarkable (if they are correct) regardless of when the post went up. Could it be that someone high up in al Qaida itself turned in al Zarqawi and identified those insurgent sites?

Had al Zarqawi become so inconvenient that al Qaida HQ decided it was time for the Allies to catch the Big Z Man, or for him to be catching the Big Z's?

Just asking!

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