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Sunday, December 04, 2005

And another one (update: two- no, make that 3) bites (bite) the dust

Beeb version here. CNN reports here:
Pakistani officials have confirmed the recent death of al Qaeda operations chief Abu Hamza Rabia, but denied reports that his death was the result of a U.S. missile strike.

Pakistani officials said Saturday that Rabia died as a result of an explosion in a home in the North Waziristan tribal area of Pakistan, near the Afghan border.

He was apparently working with explosives when the blast occurred, Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told CNN...

...Residents of North Waziristan said they witnessed a missile attack from an unmanned aerial vehicle on a house where the five men were killed, Pakistani journalist Salim Bokhari told CNN.

A European Pressphoto Agency photograph from the scene of the blast shows Pakistani villagers holding a piece of shrapnel. When the photograph is magnified, English words are visible on the shrapnel.

A former intelligence analyst said the debris appears to be from a U.S. weapon.
Whatever. Dead is dead.
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust
(lyrics by John Deacon of Queen)

H/T: Lex

UPDATE: al Qaeda is in denial. Okay, let's have the guy appear live (temporarily) to meet the press, then.

UPDATE2: The CounterTerrorism Blog says another one in Dagestan has gone to meet his 72 virgins:
According to various reports from credible mujahideen sources, Abu Omar Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Saif (a.k.a. Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Saif al-Jaber)--a top tier Saudi Arabian Al-Qaida commander in Chechnya and personal military advisor to Shamil Basayev--has been killed during a Russian counterterrorism operation in neighboring Dagestan. Unable to escape after Russian soldiers backed by helicopters surrounded his temporary hideout, Abu Omar allegedly detonated an explosive device he was carrying and collapsed the building on top of himself. Known as the "Imam of the Chechen mujahideen", Abu Omar was an original founder of the Arab-Afghan mujahideen movement in Chechnya and was named by Russian officials as a suspect in numerous Caucasus-linked terrorist attacks, including the Moscow theatre siege and the Beslan school hostage massacre.
The world will not long mourn his passing.

UPDATE3: Winds of Change (hat tip to Rapid-Recon at Threats Watch) notes the capture of another bad guy here:
NBC News is confirming earlier media reports that senior al-Qaeda leader Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (Abu Musab al-Suri) has been taken into custody in Pakistan. I was refraining on commenting on this until it was confirmed, but now that this has occurred I would like to take the opportunity to point out the excellent primers on al-Suri already written up by my friends Athena and Bill Roggio as well as the good folks over at the Counter-Terrorism Blog. As one of the most dangerous al-Qaeda leaders still at large, the capture of Nasar is likely the most grievous blow to be inflicted on the network in some time, even greater than that dealt with the capture of Abu Faraj al-Libbi earlier his year.
I hope he gets to answer a few questions.

(photo source)

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