web counter Media Lies: Who exactly was captured?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

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Who exactly was captured?

The Counterterrorism blog guys point out discrepancies between the stories told by the al Qaeda operative captured yesterday and one previously killed.
Yesterday, Iraqi security forces announced the January 15 arrest of an alleged senior lieutenant of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The suspected bomber in custody, identified as Sami Mohammed Ali Said Jaaf — also known as Abu Omar Kurdi — was described in a government statement as having admitted to masterminding over "75%" of the car bombings in Baghdad since March 2003, including the spectacular truck bomb assassination of Shiite leader Mohammed Bakr al-Hakim in August 2003 in Najaf.

Here's the problem that arises... Jaaf's alleged mea culpa to the Iraqis appears to possibly contradict with the account of Abu Anas al-Shami--Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's infamous former right hand man until his death last September.

Al-Shami was the only other member of Zarqawi's organization permitted to distribute his own audio recordings and written statements to the public. Last summer, in one such treatise, al-Shami lamented the death of a top Jordanian bombmaker in Iraq killed during the initial U.S. assault on Fallujah in the spring of 2004:

"He was the one who oversaw the operation that killed the major traitor Bakr Al Hakim. His name is Nidal Mohammed Arabiyat from one of the noble tribes of the city of Salt in Jordan where he lived his early life and then received training and traveled to Kurdistan as a mujahid and before the fall of the regime he moved to Baghdad and met up with the brother Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. He was an expert in explosives for he was the one who prepared most of the cars for the martyr operations that shook the foundation of the enemy."

Perhaps there is a simple explanation that resolves the apparent contradiction, but if there is one, I'd like to hear it.
Curious stuff. Maybe the guy the captured yesterday is boasting? Or blowing smoke? Hopefully somebody is keeping all of this straight.