Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Third high-ranking al-Qaeda in Iraq leader killed

A third Top Al Qaida nitwit Bites the Dust .

USA Today
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi and U.S. troops killed a regional leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq in an early morning raid Tuesday, as security forces continue to put pressure on the terrorist organization following the reported deaths of its two top-ranking figures over the weekend, officials said.

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri were killed in a joint operation Sunday in what Vice President Joe Biden called a "potentially devastating blow" to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The intelligence that led to the elusive leaders' desert safehouse about six miles southwest of Tikrit came from the same source — a senior al-Qaeda operative captured last month — that produced the information leading to Tuesday's raid, according to a senior Iraqi military intelligence officer who supervised both operations.

Building on information provided by the captured al-Qaeda agent, Iraqi intelligence services were able to track down all three of the men, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the clandestine nature of his job.

The killing of the al-Qaeda figures comes at a critical moment for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has staked his reputation on being the man who can restore stability to Iraq after years of bloodshed. His coalition came in second in March's national election, but neither he nor his main rival have been able to muster enough support to form a new government.

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