Thursday, June 15, 2006

Meet Zarqawi's replacement

Everybody say hi to Abu Ayyub al-Masri.

The Times - The US military today published a photograph of the Egyptian named to succeed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq...

[Major-General William Caldwell] said al-Masri was believed to have become a militant in 1982 when he joined the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, once led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda No 2. Al-Masri met al-Zarqawi in

Afghanistan in 1999, when they were both at the Al-Faruq training camp where he became an explosives expert, something General Caldwell said made him the premier manufacturer of car bombs in Iraq.

"He eventually made his way back to Iraq after the fall of the Taleban," he said.

In Iraq, al-Masri originally worked with Zarqawi in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah before moving south of the capital and becoming the al-Qaeda leader for the south.

"Raids in April and May of this year in the area of southern Baghdad recovered some materials confirming his high-level involvement in the facilitaton of foreign fighters and attacks in Baghdad itself," the general added.

And yes, we've got a 500 lb bomb with your name on it.