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April 17, 2005
The Prince Of Clubs Gets Pinched

The nephew of the highest-ranking ex-Saddamite still left on the wanted list, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, has been captured by Iraqi security forces. Hashim Hussein Radhan al-Jabouri worked directly for his uncle and set up his own terrorist network in northeastern Iraq, mostly focusing on attacking the same Iraqi security forces that now host him:

Jabouri, a former officer in Saddam Hussein's intelligence services, received funding from Ibrahim to set up his network and carry out insurgent operations, according to the statement.

Ibrahim, one of Saddam's top aides, is the most senior member of the former regime still at large. He is number six on the U.S. military's list of the 55 most-wanted Iraqis, with a $10 million reward offered for his capture. ...

Over the past year, U.S. and Iraqi forces have also detained several members of Ibrahim's extended family, and claimed at one point to have captured Ibrahim himself, but he remains on the run.

Ibrahim reportedly works under the protection of the Syrian army, or at least he did until recently. The Syrians have backpedaled away from their open assistance to ex-Ba'athist remnants as the American army gets closer to disengaging its mission for internal Iraqi security. Having 135,000 troops on Iraq's western border with lots of spare time will convince Bashar Assad to eventually cut all ties with the obvious losers of the Iraq War. Ibrahim may well get expelled then, or even before, if necessary to curry favor with the US or the new Iraqi government.

Even without an amnesty program, though, the new Iraqi government and its security forces look increasingly more effective at rooting out the insurgents and their leadership. Small wonder the native insurgents are looking for the exit strategies once demanded by American politicians of President Bush.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 17, 2005 11:04 AM

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