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BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi and US troops pressed their hunt for Al-Qaeda frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi after commanders dismissed reports that Iraq's most wanted man had been killed in the main northern city of Mosul.
"We have no indication that Zarqawi was killed and we will continue operations to search for him," a US military spokesman told AFP in Baghdad.
In Beijing, where US President George W. Bush was wrapping up a visit, White House spokesman Trent Duffy described the reports of Zarqawi's death as "highly unlikely, not credible."
Media reports on Sunday said the Al-Qaeda frontman might have been among a group of insurgents killed in battle in Mosul on Saturday.
The Jordanian-born Zarqawi, who claimed this month's deadly hotel bombings in his homeland as well as some of the bloodiest attacks and kidnappings in Iraq, has a US bounty of 25 million dollars on his head.
Originally posted by Riwka
I disagree, Odium.
Constant elimination of their leaders leaves terrorist organizations in a state of confusion and disarray. Those next in line for succession take a long time to step into their predecessors' shoes.
Though the current structure of al-Qaeda is unknown, information mostly acquired from the defector Jamal al-Fadl provided American authorities with a rough picture of how the group was organized. While the veracity of the information provided by al-Fadl and the motivation for his cooperation are both disputed, American authorities base much of their current knowledge of al-Qaeda on his testimony.
Bin Laden is the emir of al-Qaeda (although originally this role may have been filled by Abu Ayoub al-Iraqi), advised by a shura council, which consists of senior al-Qaeda members, estimated by Western officials at about twenty to thirty people.
- The Military committee is responsible for training, weapons acquisition, and planning attacks.
- The Money/Business committee runs business operations. The travel office provides air tickets and false passports. The payroll office pays al-Qaeda members, and the Management office oversees money-making businesses. In the US 911 Commission Report it is estimated that al-Qaeda requires 30,000,000 USD / year to conduct its operation.
- The Law committee reviews Islamic law and decides if particular courses of action conform to the law.
- The Islamic study/fatwah committee issues religious edicts, such as an edict in 1998 telling Muslims to kill Americans.
- In the late 1990s there was a publicly known Media committee, which ran the now-defunct newspaper Nashrat al Akhbar (Newscast) and did public relations. It is currently assumed that media operations are now outsourced to internally redundant parts of the organization.
Originally posted by Indy
He will be alive until the U.S. can find a replacement to parade around on tv. If this guy is dead and bin Laden is dead then the call to bring the troops home comes. Guys like him are our excuse to say in Iraq longer.