The questions regarding the state of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi still seem to be swirling. The reports have gone from near death to recovering to a flesh wound. One report from Newsday states Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been badly wounded and his lieutenants are engaged in a power struggle over who would replace him if he dies.
The two top contenders to succeed the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi are Iraqis who served as military officers in Saddam Hussein’s regime, said the official, who asked not to be named. If one of these men ascended to the leadership of al-Zarqawi’s group, al-Qaida in Iraq, it would illustrate that the different strands of the Iraqi insurgency are melding together.
The official said al-Zarqawi was likely a main target of the U.S. attack, dubbed Operation Matador, which lasted May 8-15 and focused on a mainly Sunni Muslim region around Qaim. On Tuesday, a Web site known as a clearinghouse for Islamic militants posted a statement saying al-Zarqawi had been wounded and urging Muslims to pray for his recovery.
“That Internet statement was a first step toward announcing his eventual death,” said the Iraqi official.
Already, several of al-Zarqawi’s deputies are jockeying to replace him, according to the official and reports in the Arabic press. The pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported Thursday that at least five associates were competing to lead al-Qaida in Iraq.
Then there is the other side that states that is nothing wrong with Zarqawi and he is back in good health and handling operations.
Iraq’s al Qaeda said on Friday its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was in good health and was back leading operations in Iraq after being wounded, according to a statement posted on the Internet. “Our Sheikh is in good health and is running the jihad (holy war) himself and has been overseeing the details of operations up to the time this statement was prepared,” a group spokesman said in a posting issued on Islamist Web sites.
The BBC adds, Confusion over Zarqawi’s fate
Conflicting news has since then appeared about his whereabouts and whether his group has nominated a successor or not.
The Tuesday statement sparked a stream of speculation ending in two contradictory claims which appeared on Thursday about a possible successor.
The unconfirmed reports have yet to be verified whether this may be a great success for the Iraqi government and the coalition forces or a moral boost. Or is it just a ploy by Zarqawi to spread false information as they come under increasing pressure from American-Iraqi operations?
Hat Tip: Smash
More from the Gateway Pundit and the Carnival of Zarqawi.
UPDATE I: The Jawa Report, Zarqawi Dead [UPDATED 5/27 DING DONG THE BITCH IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!]
Some more information for the side that say there may have been a death in the al-Qaeda family. An interesting link from Hammorabi via Jawa.
The Jordanian thug Fadhel Nazal Al-Khalayla (Zarqawi) 38 years has died.
He received treatment from Arab doctors who were not very experts and lacking intensive care equipments which he needed for his puncture in the right lung. His wounds infection gets resistance to the antibiotics. He had what is called septicemia which is according to doctors an infection of the blood resulted from infected wound. Zarqawi’s systems started to fail including his kidney and liver.
He died and now in the hands of the Keepers of the Hell in its worst level.
His family in Jordan preparing and expected to do Fataha (funeral for him soon).
Hammorabi notes that he received word through oral communication.