Saturday, January 14, 2006

The latest on Zawahiri

With a high ranking al Qaeda officer possibly dead, you'd think USA Today/AP could at least pretend to be even slightly positive.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI anticipates performing DNA tests on the victims of a purported CIA airstrike in Pakistan that apparently targeted al-Qaeda's second-in-command, a law enforcement official said Saturday.

At least 17 people were killed in the airstrike on Damadola, near the Afghan border. Senior Pakistani officials told The Associated Press that the CIA acted on erroneous information in launching the attack early Friday, and that Ayman al-Zawahri was not among the dead.

17 people? Maybe, perhaps, at least one of them is a terrorist? If even one is a terrorist, that kills the "erroneous information" line. We killed terrorist(s). Just not the one that we were hoping for. Perk up USA Today/AP... it's not like we blew up a 5 year old's birthday party.

In Washington, Pentagon, State Department, National Security Council and intelligence officials did not immediately provide additional details about the attack.

DNA tests to determine the victims' identities are expected to be conducted in the United States, according to the law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal request for such testing had not been made public.

Up to 11 extremists were believed to be among the dead, according to unidentified Pakistani officials quoted in news reports. However, survivors of the attack in Damadola denied that militants were there.

Ohhh... so we did kill a bunch of terrorists. Someone remind me... is that a good thing? And don't put too much stock in the survivor's stories; sounds a lot like the neighbors of serial killers that always get interviewed... "He was such a nice, queit man..."

Hopefully Zawahiri is one of the dead. And even if he isn't it's a successful mission if it killed any terrorists.

UPDATE: How about the headline for same AP story in the Toronto Star.

U.S. air strike in Pakistan kills 17 civilians

Predator drone attack targeted Al Qaeda leadership; U.S. intelligence wrong, Pakistani official says