Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Fog of Virgins & The White Flag of Surrender

U.S. and Iraqi soldiers in the surge are daily sending many al Qaeda men to pick up their 72 virgins in the sky, but figuring out precisely which ones have been sent to cash in on that unique jihadist orgy on any particular day is sometimes difficult. The claim that al Masri, purported leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed by the Anbar Awakening Council is still unconfirmed and has been denied by al Qaeda.

We do have confirmation of the death today of a major al Qaeda in Iraq leader, Muharib Abdul Latif al-Jubouri, who, along with 15 others, was killed by U.S. and Iraqi forces in operations that also saw the capture of 95 of their radicalized brethern. Al Jubouri was al Qaeda in Iraq's senior minister of information "responsible for crafting propaganda efforts and coordinating the flow of money and foreign fighters." Killing him is "significant blow to al-Qaeda in Iraq." He was also involved in several high profile kidnappings, including the kidnapping of Jill Carrol, the writer for the Christian Science Monitor.

While getting al-Jubori is a major event in itself, I am also struck by the fact that the capture to kill ratio for these al Qaeda men is getting high of late. In consideration of this operation, and the ones cited in the post here, the capture to kill ratio over the last two weeks seems to be running in the neighborhood of 15 to 1. Its not clear how much one can safely read into that, but generally in war, the higher the capture to kill ratio, the lesser the morale of the enemy. Let us hope this trend continues.

Update: More of the Fog of Virgins. Omar at Iraq the Model just posted this:

Early afternoon today news came in that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, chief of the so called Islamic State in Iraq has been killed in Ghazaliya district in western Baghdad.
Uncertainty about the identity of the killed senior terrorist was soon in place, while the Iraqi interior ministry insists it was al-Baghdadi, US officials think otherwise, they confirmed that a senior al-Qaeda operative name Muharib Abdul Latif al-Jubouri was killed though.

So were Jubouri and Baghdadi the same person?

Well, some very bad actor has gone to meet Allah. Hopefully in a few days this fog will lift and we will know who it was.

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