Thursday, June 15, 2006

Death Of The Antichrist? Not Bloody Likely

[From the UK Daily Telagraph]

Terror boss died hour after blast

June 14, 2006

BAGHDAD: Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died of serious damage to the lungs caused by shockwaves from a US air strike last week, the US military said yesterday.

The military, which said DNA analysis confirmed the identity of the corpse, revealed he died almost an hour after coalition forces dropped two 227kg bombs on his safe house north of Baghdad last Wednesday.
Post-mortem findings ... the US military's injury chart for al-Zarqawi's body

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda in Iraq on Monday appointed little-known militant Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Muhajer to succeed the Jordanian-born Zarqawi

in an internet message -- the authenticity of which could not be verified.

"Sheikh Abu Hamza is a pious brother with a jihadi track record and a solid scholarly background. We ask God to bless him and to help him finish what Sheikh Abu Musab has started," the statement added.

His nationality was not given but the word "muhajer" means immigrant in Arabic, suggesting he is also a non-Iraqi.

Zarqawi died from injuries sustained in the blasts.

"The cause of death was a close space primary blast injury of the lung. Blast waves from the two bombs caused tearing, bruising of the lungs and bleeding," US military doctor Colonel Steve Jones said in Baghdad.

"This wound was not immediately fatal.

"Death occurred as lung function deteriorated and the lungs became progressively unable to absorb oxygen into the blood."

Jones brushed aside reports Zarqawi was beaten to death after coalition forces found him alive after the air strike.

"He died of blast injuries and there was no evidence of beating. The injuries to his lungs were not survivable. That is what killed him as there were no firearm injuries visible."

Major General William Caldwell confirmed: "We have the DNA results of Zarqawi and it matches positive."

He said a coalition medic tended to Zarqawi after the air strike, securing his airway and ensuring the militant was breathing as "he lapsed in and out of consciousness".

"At 7:04pm on 7 June (the coalition medic on duty) realised Zarqawi was dead. This is approximately 24 minutes after coalition forces arrived or approximately 52 minutes after the first strike," he said.

His spiritual adviser Sheikh Abdel Rahman was killed in the strike along with four others.

Maj-Gen Caldwell said he believed Zarqawi was dressed in a "black outfit at the time of the air strike and there was nothing to suggest that we was wearing a suicide belt at that time".

He said the military was "still in discussion with the Iraqi Government as to final disposition of the remains".

Quoting documents seized from the house, the report suggested Zarqawi planned to create a war between Iraqi Shi'ites of and Sunni Arabs in the Gulf.


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