AP via Houston Chronicle:
The government today announced the arrests of two close associates of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, including the chief of the terror mastermind's Baghdad operation. The announcement came two days before historic elections that extremists have vowed to subvert.Rolling up the leadership of al Qaeda's operatives in Iraq is much more important than the AP or Ted Kennedy are willing to recognize. It is particularly important when the insurgents are in the middle of amaximum efort as they are now trying to thwart democracy.
Qassim Dawoud, a top security adviser, told reporters that the arrests of the al-Zarqawi lieutenants occurred in mid-January but gave few details. Dawoud said one of the men, Salah Suleiman al-Loheibi, headed al-Zarqawi's Baghdad operation and had met with the Jordanian-born terror leader more than 40 times over three months.
The other was identified as Ali Hamad Yassin al-Issawi.