Saturday, January 14, 2006


Egypt has provided the United States with DNA from Ayman al-Zawahiri's brother, which would allow officials to positively identify the fugitive al-Qaeda leader, Time magazine said Saturday. US Central Intelligence Agency sources said earlier they had unconfirmed indications that a high-level target, possibly Osama bin Laden's Egyptian number two, died in a raid by a US Predator drone in Pakistan early Friday. "We are investigating and as of now we are not in a position to say yes or no," Major General Shaukat Sultan, the spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf and for Pakistan's military, told AFP when asked to confirm whether Zawahiri was killed in the air strike.

Privately, senior Pakistani intelligence officials said it was unlikely Zawahiri was in the tribal village near the Afghanistan border when an alleged US airstrike killed 18 people there.
U.S. officials will conduct DNA tests on the dead bodies left by a U.S. airstrike in Pakistan that apparently targeted al Qaeda's No. 2 leader, U.S. media reported Saturday. The tests are aimed to determine whether Ayman al-Zawahri, deputy of al Qeada's top leader Osama bin Laden, was among the dead, U.S. media reported, quoting a U.S. law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The DNA tests will be performed in the United States, probably in the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, which has extensive DNA research capabilities and expertise, said the official. However, Pakistani officials said Zawahri was not in a village near the Afghan border where a purportedly CIA airstrike on Friday killed at least 18 people, including women and children.
Denials from Pakistanis might be (a) correct; (b) disinformation to through off al Qaeda; (c) attempts (by al Qaeda symp's within the Pakistani military and intel services) to cover up FOR al Qaeda and make the USA look bad.

I find it VERY VERY curious that AS SOON as the attack was reported we announced that Zawahiri was the intended target and that we were testing the remains and wouldn't know for 48 hours. Then - ONLY 24 HOURS LATER - the Pakistanis announce that we were off-base and that they are pissed off at us for violating their airspace and killing civilians with bad intel.

I'm gonna wait until we hear something from OUR side before I believe anything - ESPECIALLY in view of these MOST RECENT reports. MUCH MORE HERE. And more HERE.

UPDATE - 1/15/06/"Reuters"; (hat tip JIHAD WATCH):
The Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that foreigners had been near the village of Damadola in the Bajaur region bordering Afghanistan and were the probable target. Pakistani intelligence officials said they were checking reports up to seven foreign militants had been killed and their bodies removed by local supporters. But they said there were no indications Osama bin Laden's deputy, Zawahri, was there. "He was invited for the dinner, but we have no evidence he was present," a senior intelligence official told Reuters.
ER um... the "evidence" might be splattered all over the dirt floor of the hut he was in! Sheesh. REMEMBER: We might NOT want al Qaeda to know that Zawahiri is dead - NOT FOR A WHILE. WHY?! SO we can use the laptops/phones the Egyptian had with him to round up other jihadoterrorists.

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