Tuesday, June 20, 2006

We are on a roll.....

The Captain has this:

CENTCOM announced minutes ago that one of the men expected to take the place of the now-room temperature Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has also reached thermal equilibrium near Baghdad. The spokesman for the military briefed reporters on the death of Sheikh Mansur, displaying before and after mug shots of the dead terrorist and explained his significance to the insurgent network in Iraq. So far, none of the wire services have picked up the story; I will fill in the details as they become available.

UPDATE: The BBC has an addendum to the story on the discovery of the two bodies that reports up to 15 insurgents killed while hunting a "senior member of al-Qaeda in Iraq," but does not identify Sheikh Mansur despite the specifics in the briefing.

UPDATE II: The Commissar asks if I may have mistranscribed the name from al-Masri or al-Mohajer. I took the name from the placard at the briefing, but it still might be the same person, as terrorists have been known to adopt multiple identities. I'm waiting for better reporting to come from the morning briefing, and find it disappointing that the story has not made its own way onto the wires thus far. Still scanning ...

UPDATE III: CENTCOM now has a release stating that they have detained a senior AQI leader and three of his lieutenants near Baghdad. CENTCOM has not named the terrorists detained as yet.

UPDATE IV: Thanks to CQ reader Brendan F, we see that the BBC has updated their report:
Gen Caldwell said on Tuesday US forces had killed Zarqawi's "right-hand man" in a raid in Yusifiya on Friday, near where the US troops were abducted.

The general said Iraqi Mansur Suleiman al-Mashhadani was "a key leader in al-Qaeda" and could have succeeded Zarqawi.

So now we have mainstream media confirmation on the kill -- and it appears we also have another senior AQI leader detained. It may take some time to get the information clear about the later CENTCOM release.