Information seized from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's laptop computer revealed the Jordanian master terrorist has been expanding his jihad network outside Iraq and is emerging as al Qaeda's preeminent global military commander, The Post has learned.I bet he had a very interesting "contacts" list.
U.S. intelligence officials who were briefed on data gleaned from a computer taken after a Feb. 20 U.S. Special Forces ambush in Iraq — in which Zarqawi narrowly escaped — said they have discovered shocking new details about the growing threat to U.S. and Western interests posed by the brutish Zarqawi — who is rapidly eclipsing Osama bin Laden in importance.
"He's becoming the new bin Laden. He's the man out there carrying out attacks on Americans every day while bin Laden, who is heavily pressured and having difficulty communicating on a regular basis, is in the shadows and becoming more of a symbolic figure," said former CIA counterterrorism director Vincent Cannistraro.
The data in his computer reveals Zarqawi is directing scores of fanatics from Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states who volunteered for "martyrdom" missions in Iraq and other countries, sources said.
"The information has given us new insight into the scope of his operations outside of Iraq that we did not know about previously," said a U.S. intelligence official familiar with the analysis.
The official said new secret counterterror operations have been launched by the CIA and intelligence services of other countries as a result of information in his laptop.