Zarqawi aide captured in Iraq

Reuters/Washington Post:

Iraqi security forces have captured a senior aide of al Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Baghdad, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

Defense Ministry spokesman Kassim al-Mosawi said that Kassim al-Ani, one of the most wanted people in Iraq, was arrested on Sunday evening.

"The Iraqi army forces arrested three terrorists who belong to al Qaeda, one of them is a senior aide of Zarqawi in Baghdad," Mosawi said.

"He was one of the most wanted ones," he told Reuters, adding that Ani was suspected of being behind many attacks in the Iraqi capital.

...

Mosawi said the army had received intelligence information that Ani and the two other suspects were in a house in Baghdad's northern Adhamiya district, a predominantly Sunni area.

"We prepared a plan and raided the house and arrested them without resistance," he said.

...

There are two important elements to this story that are bad news for al Qaeda beyond the loss of a leader. The first is that he was found as a result of a tip from Iraqis. This is significant evidence that the enemy has lost the war for the hearts and minds of the Iraqis. The second is that the operation was planned an executed by Iraqi forces. Both of these elements are key to the success of the war in Iraq and make this a good news story on several levels beyond the enemies loss of leadership.

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