"Trusted Lieutenant" Watch....
The government also announced the capture of a senior aide to Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who took over as leader of al-Qaida in Iraq after his predecessor Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June.For some perspective, recall this from early September:
Mouwafak al-Rubaie, the government’s national security adviser, said U.S. and Iraqi forces captured the aide, though he did not specify where or when. He said three-fifths of al-Qaida in Iraq’s leadership has now been captured or killed.
"The noose is tightening around Abu Ayyub al-Masri, and I can say with all confidence that al-Qaida in Iraq is undergoing a very real leadership crisis," al-Rubaie said at a news conference.
Al Qaeda's No. 2 operative in Iraq, Hamed Jumaa Al Saeedi, has been arrested, the U.S. military and Iraq's national security adviser announced Sunday.Which leads to the obvious question: How many more "severe blows to al Qaeda" can we endure?
Al Saeedi, also known as Abu Rana and Abu Humam, is said to be second in command in the terrorist group al Qaeda in Iraq, behind Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
Al-Masri succeeded Abu Musab al-Zarqawi after he was killed during a U.S. airstrike in June.
"This is a very important development," Iraq's Planning Minister Barham Salih told CNN.
"It comes in the wake of killing of Zarqawi and also a number of Zarqawi associates. Deliberate intelligence work both by Iraqi forces as well as multinational forces have dealt a very severe blow to al Qaeda organization in Iraq."