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U.S. intelligence officials who were briefed on data gleaned from a computer taken after a Feb. 20 U.S. Special Forces ambush in Iraq — in which Zarqawi narrowly escaped — told the Post that they have discovered shocking new details about the growing threat to U.S. and Western interests posed by Zarqawi, who they say is rapidly eclipsing bin Laden in importance.The data in his computer reveals Zarqawi is directing scores of fanatics from Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states who volunteered for "martyrdom" missions in Iraq and other countries, sources said.
"The information has given us new insight into the scope of his operations outside of Iraq that we did not know about previously," a U.S. intelligence official familiar with the analysis told the Post.
The official said new secret counterterror operations have been launched by the CIA and intelligence services of other countries as a result of information in his laptop.
Sources said the computer files also yielded recent communications with al Qaeda leaders, including a message from bin Laden's No. 2 man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in which he urged Zarqawi to expand his operations outside Iraq to include attacks on Americans in the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security released details of that message in a bulletin to law enforcement agencies last month.
Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
February 20, computer found.
Like a Mohammed Atta passport surviving intact at Ground Zero after passing through a blazing inferno in the Twin Towers.
[edit on 25-4-2005 by MaskedAvatar]
Inside the truck, the official told ABC, U.S. troops found Zarqawi's computer and about $104,000.
NBC, quoting U.S. military sources, reported Tuesday that among the items seized with the laptop were several small plug-in hard drives. Numerous pictures of Zarqawi were found in the computer's "My Pictures" file, the network said.
Captured in the Feb. 20 operation was Talib Mikhlif Arsan Walman al-Dulaymi, also known as Abu Qutaybah, an Iraqi government announcement said at the time.
Qutaybah "filled the role of key lieutenant for the Zarqawi network, arranging safe houses and transportation as well as passing packages and funds" to Zarqawi, the government said.
It said Qutaybah was a known associate of other Zarqawi lieutenants already held by coalition forces, including Abu Ahmed, an al-Qaida-linked insurgent leader in the northern city of Mosul, who was detained Dec. 22.
During the same raid, Iraqi forces captured another Zarqawi aide who "occasionally acted as his driver," the government said. He was identified as Ahmad Khalid Marad Ismail al-Rawi, who also helped arrange meetings for al-Zarqawi. He also is known as Abu Uthman.