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Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No

Bump and Update: Update: al-Zawahiri was not killed in the attack on the Pakastani Village. Between 17 and 30 villagers were killed, and Pakistanis are protesting the air strike.

According to U.S. sources,

CIA-operated unmanned drones were believed to have been used in the attack, U.S. sources said. A Pakistani intelligence official said four missiles had been fired.

It looks like the raid has resulted in creating at least one future terrorist:

At another destroyed house, Sami Ullah, a 17-year-old student, said 24 of his family members were killed and vowed he would "seek justice from God."

***
Original Post: 1/13

CNN is reporting that al-Zawahiri may have been killed in a raid. The Pentagon is not yet confirming.

New York Times; AP.

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  • Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#1)
    by ras on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:16:57 PM EST
    I think they're reporting Zawahiri, not Zarqawi.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#2)
    by scarshapedstar on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:20:45 PM EST
    Dog bites man?

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 07:55:18 PM EST
    Thanks, I fixed it.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#4)
    by ras on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 08:12:19 PM EST
    Dog bites scum.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#5)
    by ras on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 08:25:30 PM EST
    Anyway, to bring the discussion more on topic: I have always wondered why the US has not been attacked again since 9-11 in any large fashion. I saw, and still see, three main possibilities, not at all exclusive of each other. In descending order of import: a) with US troops on their borders, the ME state-sponsors of terror called off the dogs for now; b) the terrorist cell-system is not decentralized, that's a misnomer. Hell, it's the most centralized system around; cell members aren't even allowed to know each other; c) general anti-terrorist provisions, such as DHS or the NSA, are mopping up the rest. Zawahiri's death would impact b), much as chasing AQ and OBL from Afghanistan so disrupted so much of their previous activity. If Zawahiri's dead, AQ will take a long time to recover, if ever. Head of the snake and all that.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 09:13:41 PM EST
    Ras, Perhaps too, as I also suspect, they don't need to attack us here at home. Why would they want to turn U.S. public opinion back in Bush's favor right now? Why rally your enemy when your enemy is divided and suffering from leadership lacking credibility at home and abroad? Why give your enemy what has slipped away from them? But maybe they don't think that much. But maybe they do. It's maddening, no?

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#7)
    by scarshapedstar on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 10:17:22 PM EST
    Zawahiri's death would impact b), much as chasing AQ and OBL from Afghanistan so disrupted so much of their previous activity. If Zawahiri's dead, AQ will take a long time to recover, if ever. Head of the snake and all that.
    So does that mean the WoT/GSAVE will be over someday? I mean, it'd be nice to see at least a little acknowledgement that war powers exist with the unwritten corollary that wartime should be the exception rather than the norm.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#8)
    by The Heretik on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 10:39:23 PM EST
    Quite a bit more on Zawahiri, who is dead, and when at the update at Dead Again. al Qaeda leaders, the "senior" ones, have this disturbing habit of dying once, then coming back to life, to die again. Oy.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 11:12:39 PM EST
    ras:
    I have always wondered why the US has not been attacked again since 9-11 in any large fashion. I saw, and still see, three main possibilities ...
    Conclusions depend on a combination of premises and data. And if you did not start out by accepting as fact the official explanation for what happened on 9/11 -- a dubious story, never subjected to scientific examination, and widely questioned -- you would probably reach different conclusions.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#10)
    by Johnny on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 11:23:57 PM EST
    I have always wondered why the US has not been attacked again since 9-11 in any large fashion. I saw, and still see, three main possibilities ...
    I have always wondered why we were not attacked in nearly a decade leading up to 9/11. I have also wondered why were never "attacked" before then. Anyways, my first reaction to this post was: "big whoop, we have killed central command a thousand times over. Maybe the bushlickers will get a kick out of it and his points will go up a notch, just in time to slide alito in there."

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#11)
    by demohypocrates on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:05:30 AM EST
    The evidence is very sketchy. I would think that, as an American, there would be hope that we have killed this SOB, please all, lets isolate evil.....

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:42:13 AM EST
    Johnny writes:
    Maybe the bushlickers will get a kick out of it and his points will go up a notch, just in time to slide alito in there."
    The news at this hour is that he wasn't killed. But tell me Johnny. Why wouldn't you get a kick out of the knowledge that he has been killed?

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:57:26 AM EST
    Charlienolinks - Can you read? My comment said:
    The news at this hour is that he wasn't killed.
    Tell me charlienolinks, why wouldn't you be happy at an announcement of his death? You then wrote:
    the larger issue of shrub's complete and utter incompetence in the prosecution of the Afghanistan War.
    Now. Can you tell us when you became an expert on military matters? Was it during the time your buddy let you have your picture taken in a jet fighter? No? Wait. I know. It is when you are playing with your GI and GI Jane dolls. Be nice and I'll get you a pop gun and you can practice search and destroy missions in your den. As you said, charlie:
    Sure thing, DA. Then again, sometimes people do it just 'cause their semi-literate ignorant morons. Take the fella in question for example, ...
    Isn't the Internet great? Tell us again just how smart you are.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 06:27:29 AM EST
    We've knocked off the Al Qaeda "Number 3" what, like 12, 14 times by now? I guess its time we moved onto knocking off the Al Qaeda "Number 2". The War on Terror TM will still be safe, as long as we continue not to have confirmation on whether or not OBL is still around (we'll know for sure in early October when he makes his pre-mid-terms "vote for the Democrats and I'll kill your children" campaign address.)

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#16)
    by Sailor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 07:06:40 AM EST
    Actually, we just attcked an ally and killed women and children, no proof at all that aZ was there. BTW, what's the current consensus on 'collateral damage?' If we kill a thousand children to get 1 terrorist is that an acceptable ratio?

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#17)
    by Punchy on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:15:23 AM EST
    Imagine that. Reports now say this clown was "away" during the strike. It's almost conspiritorial how they'll announce a "possible death" (for the kudos), but not really kill anyone (to prevent the "end" of the WOT). It's almost that they want these guys alive to justify this war "status" our country is in... another false alarm. looks like georgie cried wolf....again.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 09:50:01 AM EST
    charlienolinks - Just a few notes to keep the record straight. I have never claimed to be an expert on how to win a war. You have. I have claimed to know a bit about the military, culture, etc. And I think this comment by you defines your feelings towards the troops, and the military as a whole.
    Your juvenile cracks about my proudly and honestly admitted lack of Military experience
    You wrote:
    If anything, killing him would be counter-productive. On the other hand, capturing and humiliating him just might have some utility and positive benefit.
    So, you are not only an expert in fighting a war, you are an expert on counterterrorism. Wait, no you're not. Wait, yes you are. So tell me. How would you capture him? As for TANG, I bet Dan Rather wishes he had never heard of it! ;-)

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:24:54 AM EST
    charlienolinks - If you are going to try and insult someone, you should at least spell the insult correctly. ;-)
    your beloved fuhrer has
    in view of your beloved fuhrer's
    Oh well, at least you weren't telling us how smart you are.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#20)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:57:05 AM EST
    Wow, looks like I called this one, unsurprisingly. Funny, there isn't even an election today. What was the Ministry of Truth thinking?

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#21)
    by ras on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:07:05 AM EST
    As for the bumop-and-update, I take it w/the same grain of salt I took the initial report, cuz neither side might want a *confirmed* kill. AQ wouldn't want to admit their leader was killed. They lose face, and his immediate lieutenants would then fight amongst themselves, since w/out a leader they have no one from whom to derive their own authority. The US & Pakistan wouldn't want to be too up-front about getting Zawahiri either, not as much as we think. It's better for them to just hint at it. They can let AQ fight w/in itself over his succession, and in the meantime, since AQ is such a top-heavy command structure, their cells will sit and wait for orders from their leadership that may never come. Similar logic applies to OBL, too, who might not have survived Tora Bora (he's been pretty quiet since then; just one grainy video of a stock speech where his lips weren't fully in sync w/his words). But maybe the US prefers he depart w/a whimper rather than a bang.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:13:14 AM EST
    I love your insistence that fighting the enemy creates more enemies. Tell me, did the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden create more enemies? Are we facing down German and Japanese irredentists these days?

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#23)
    by soccerdad on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:23:53 AM EST
    JR still living in the past, does not understand the difference between WWII and an insurgency using primarily guerilla tactics. Maybe you should go to the Army War College Web site and do some reading on asymetrical warfare. Thanks again for another irrelevant point.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#24)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:51:37 AM EST
    I wasn't aware that we firebombed Dresden and Tokyo while we controlled them. JR, please show us proof for this rather earthshaking revelation.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#25)
    by Andreas on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:56:06 AM EST
    The CIA should be legally treated as a terror organisation. It is at least as criminal as Al Qaeda.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:15:40 PM EST
    Only one future terrorist? I think not.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 12:19:35 PM EST
    I wonder what they would do if they received Solid information Al-Zawahiri was hiding in the empire State building? I wonder what they would do if Cuba Bombed a Miami neighborhood where a Cuban exile wanted for Terrorism was hiding out?

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#29)
    by glanton on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:46:53 PM EST
    Sailor asks:
    BTW, what's the current consensus on 'collateral damage?' If we kill a thousand children to get 1 terrorist is that an acceptable ratio?
    Of course its acceptable. We're bringing our special brand of freedom to these people even if we have to kill them to do it.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 02:54:50 PM EST
    Punchy:
    It's almost that they want these guys alive to justify this war "status" our country is in...
    Almost?! Keeping a Bogie Man alive is the whole point. Considering the effort it takes to elevate someone to that status, nothing is served by killing them off. Since the dramatic story line depends crucially on the existence of a bad guy, if they kill them off, they just have to invent new ones for next season.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 03:47:30 PM EST
    Bill wrote:
    At least, Clinton got a chemical factory when he missed.
    Hmmm, I thought it was an asprin factory. Nothing like taking out the enemy's headache fighting ability. But then the Repubs were giving him a headache. ;-)

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#33)
    by Johnny on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 04:38:51 PM EST
    Jim, I'll be happy when something actually happens. Until then, why don't you celebrate the deaths of more women and children somewhere where babykillers congregate.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#34)
    by glanton on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 05:00:33 PM EST
    If a group of foreigners detonated a bomb in the United States that killed 17 people, would you call it terrorism?
    That really is the Question of the Century so far, isn't it? (Running a close second: Who wants to be a scientist in Kansas?) But anyway, Repack, that's as well put as any post I've seen here. When we kill the "Innocent Other", well, its regrettable we suppose, but then, its strategic warfare, dontcha know?

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#32)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 10:28:45 AM EST
    Jim, If a group of foreigners detonated a bomb in the United States that killed 17 people, would you call it terrorism? What if they said it was because they thought they knew where a really bad guy was, would that make it okay to kill a dozen or so innocent people and miss the bad guy? Just asking.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#35)
    by Che's Lounge on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 10:50:51 AM EST
    This also puts Musharref in a bad position. Most Pakistanis are not happy with him siding with the US in the so-called WOT. There are already demonstrations in the streets. What do they call them again? Oh yeah, precision guided weapons. Who's guiding them, the Three Stooges? Oh well, it's only some (innocent) brown people. Racist, killing nation. That's us. How many innocents have we blown up, burned up, buried, maimed or orphaned jjust since September 11, 2001. Have we not gotten our revenge? What is the end point? As the reptiles are wont to say (and I love that term), we haven's been hit again. So is it over? I challenge the reptiles to describe just what constitutes victory in their "WOT". Just give us poor lefty saps a few criteria. This is more "war" for more money and more strategic advantage. Somebody tell me WTF would change if Al Zawahiri was killed? As long as our corporo-political a*****es are making a buck, the "war" will go on.

    Re: Is al-Zawahiri Dead? Answer: No (none / 0) (#36)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 11:23:15 AM EST
    From AP: The White House declined comment on Sunday, and officials at several U.S. agencies have not provided details about the attack. But Sen. John McCain and other U.S. lawmakers defended it Sunday. "We apologize, but I can't tell you that we wouldn't do the same thing again" in going after Ayman al-Zawahri, McCain said. Thanks, Senator McCain. Complain about torture (which you have experienced as a victim), but condone the bombings of civilians on the CHANCE someone important MIGHT be there (which you have experience with as the perpetrator). I am just about done with this guy.