Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dead Terrorists Update

We've seen a recent rash of reports on most-wanted terrorists and enablers going tango uniform.   Are they real?

For instance, before Christmas it was reported that AQ number three Adnan Shukrijumah, known also as "Jafar the Pilot", considered a particularly dangerous terrorist, was killed by Pakistani troops in a raid in Pakistan (shortly after the US promised another large sum of support money to that country).  After a few weeks Shukrijumah disappeared off the Rewards for Justice site run by the State Department, but he still appears on the FBI's most-wanted terrorist list.  Reasons--they are still confirming it.  Rather amazing, since they had the body and DNA testing doesn't take that long.  Just think back to bin Laden, it was done almost immediately.  Not sure why they wouldn't have shouted it from the rooftops the day after. Instead the administration didn't want anything to do with any questions about it.        

Also, there was the long sought-after former second in command of the Iraqi Ba'ath regime, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, who was reported to be helping ISIS.  He was reported killed in a shelling near Tikrit about a week ago.  It made a flurry of news, then quickly vaporized from the news cycle.   The Iraqi government was supposed to be doing DNA testing to confirm.  In the interim a Shiite Hizballah group has claimed it's "100 percent" certain it was him based on their own tests.  You can view the corpse here--does this really look like the body of an over 70 year old man?  No bruises or bullet holes.  Does it bear a perfect resemblance to Izzat? Not really, but there is some.  Al-Duri was a rare Arab redhead, but keep in mind old Jihadists often die their beards red.  And again, the administration downplayed any questions from the press about him rather than doing the usual end-zone dance.   His loss would seemingly be a big blow to ISIS, yet nothing.  Strange. 

Finally the news today that the US blew away two most-wanted AQ terrorists, Adam aka "Azzam the American" Gadahn, and Ahmed Farouq, both American citizens on the wanted list.   Both were hit in separate non-targeted drone strikes on AQ camps--somewhere--they aren't saying very much.  The American hostage Warren Weinstein was also killed in the Farouq raid, which prompted a sort of unusual apology today from the president, taking great pains to convey that he was responsible and where the buck stopped, as if this wasn't already a given.  Of course it has never been a given, which is why this was weird. 

The White House presser today was fairly weird as well, with Josh Earnest promising unbelievable awesome transparency on the record about these deaths, then proceeding to provide almost no details about the raids due to operational security concerns.   Many journalists quizzed Earnest on whether the kills were within US law.  Maybe Loretta Lynch will decide this, after she gets through deciding on prosecuting Lois Lerner or investigating Hillary's shenanigans.  In reality it's possible he was trying to explain the tragic loss without admitting they are casualties of 'war', because the 'wars' are over, responsibly ended by Obama.  So if we aren't at war, why are we still air-raiding villages and killing civilians?    

One factoid--Mr Weinstein was mentioned many times by AQ leader Ayman Zawahiri, demanding captured AQ terrorists in exchange among other concessions, so it will be interesting to see whether the secrecy and stealth used today, and perhaps the reason they announced this today after 3 months, has something to do with pinpointing AQ Numero Uno and not just covering some hiney.  


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