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July 3, 2006
Zarqawi's Little Black Book

One of the key physical devices for active intel in any terrorist takedown is the cellphone. The data we recover off of these leads us to a number of other active terrorist cells, as well as point the NSA to new potential nodes in the AQ network. CNN reports that the cell phone recovered from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's corpse gave us plenty of intel, some of it leading to key members of the new Iraqi government:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had the phone numbers of senior Iraqi officials stored in his cell phone, according to an Iraqi legislator.

Waiel Abdul-Latif, a member of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's party, said Monday that authorities found the numbers after al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. air strike on June 7.

Abdul-Latif did not give names of the officials. But he said they included ministry employees and members of parliament.

He called for an investigation, saying Iraqis "cannot have one hand with the government and another with the terrorists."

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone. At least a few Sunni political parties have long been thought to have acted as fronts native insurgencies, and their election to the National Assembly would give them the opportunity to infiltrate the bureaucracy. The Iraqis now have a good idea which of these leaders have connections through Zarqawi to the foreign insurgency, and one can imagine that the Iraqis will not treat such traitors kindly in their current mood. This might also explain why a few Sunni parties suddenly staged a protest walkout when one of their legislators got kidnapped this weekend.

CNN also reports that the Arabic proclivity for oddball conspiracy theories continues unabated. The latest, provided by a woman identifying herself as Zarqawi's first wife, claims that Zarqawi's network agreed to sell him out to the Americans -- in exchange for us leaving Osama bin Laden alone. This theory got published in La Repubblica in Italy, which came as news to Zarqawi's family in Jordan, who have not heard from the woman in over two years. This apparently did not deter La Repubblica from printing the ridiculous allegations or CNN from extending its reach.

In order to believe that this has any credibility at all, we have to believe that a woman who hasn't been in contact with Zarqawi's family in two years somehow knows the workings of AQI, and that they would discuss the manner and means through which they sold the Zarq out. Not only that, but we then have to believe that they would try to make a deal with the Americans, the infidels, to kill off Zarqawi, a Muslim. We also have to believe that we would make some kind of diplomatic deal with AQ to leave Osama alone. And in exchange for what -- the death of one man, replaced by another who tortured and brutalized two of our soldiers before dismembering them and leaving them booby-trapped on an Iraqi road?

Uh, yeah, sure. I'd like to know what La Repubblica's editors smoke around deadline, and what CNN's editors smoke when reading the international wires.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 3, 2006 10:32 AM

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» HS Goes To Baghdad from Hard Starboard
The snuffing of "Emir" Zarqawi continues to pay abundant dividends. Not only did the wealth of intelligence gathered by the Coalition from his cathouse hideout roll up pretty much the entire al Qaeda network in Iraq, but now it has opened windows int... [Read More]

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