Terrorist dodged U.S. troops
Associated Press | April 27, 2005
As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. Goldstein was the renegade and backslider who once, long ago (how long ago, nobody quite remembered), had been one of the leading figures of the Party, almost on a level with Big Brother himself, and then had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Goldstein was not the principal figure.
From 1984 by George Orwell
WASHINGTON — U.S. forces in Iraq think they just missed capturing terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a February raid that netted two of his associates, a U.S. military official said Tuesday.
The official, who discussed the operation on the condition of anonymity, could provide no details on how Zarqawi escaped.
Iraqi officials announced the Feb. 20 raid at the time but did not say that Zarqawi was the target.
At a Pentagon news conference, Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would say only: “We were close.” He declined to elaborate.
Zarqawi, who has a $25 million bounty on his head, is thought to have orchestrated car bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and beheadings across Iraq.
Troops with a covert military unit were reportedly in place to arrest him as he was on his way to Ramadi, but he caught wind of them, ABC News reported late Monday, citing an unidentified senior military official.
The official said that a car was pulled over as it approached a checkpoint. A pickup trailing the car then turned and headed in the opposite direction.
Officials think Zarqawi was in the fleeing truck, but when U.S. teams pulled the vehicle over several miles later, he was not inside, ABC reported. In the truck, the official told ABC, U.S. troops found Zarqawi's computer and about $104,000.
Goldstein on the Run: Al-Zarqawi eluded capture but left clues, source says
Photos, phone numbers among intelligence found on laptop
NBC News | April 26, 2005
By Richard Engel
BAGHDAD, Iraq - American special forces were tracking Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al-Qaida in Iraq, near the town of Ramadi two months ago, but the Jordanian-born terrorist leader escaped by jumping out of a moving vehicle, a senior U.S. military source tells NBC News.
Al-Zarqawi did, however, leave behind several key pieces of intelligence, the source said, the most important of which was his laptop computer.
Photos released by the military last month were taken from the "My Pictures" folder of that laptop, the source said. It was also full of telephone numbers.
$100,000 in cash
Also left behind in the car was a bag with about $100,000 in euro currency. Another bag contained mini, plugin harddrives, the source said, and evidently al-Zarqawi was using these to distribute information to his network in Iraq.
Al-Zarqawi was believed to have been headed to a secret meeting in Ramadi, and the area was being tracked by unmanned Predator reconnaisance aircraft.
Officials now believe that he jumped from a pickup truck and hid below an underpass when a car in front of the pickup was halted at a checkpoint.
Driver was captured
Iraqi officials had earlier revealed that al-Zarqawi's driver had been taken into custody near Ramadi in a Feb. 20 operation and voiced optimism that coalition forces were close to capturing him.
At the Pentagon, other U.S. military officials said special forces have "come close" to capturing al-Zarqawi on several occasions over the past several months and have gathered intelligence, primarily from al-Zarqawi associates caught in the raids.
But even with the setbacks he's suffered, al-Zarqawi is still able to carry out strikes like the recent sophisticated assault on the Abu Ghraib prison, and daily suicide bombings by followers.