Aug 01 2008

Zawahiri Dead?! – Updated

Published by at 5:11 pm under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT

Major Update: Some reports indicate Zawahiri was at least hurt in the predator attack and may have died from his injuries:

US broadcaster CBS said it had obtained an intercepted letter from a Pakistani Taliban commander requesting urgent medical help for Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man. Pakistan’s military said it had no information about the report.

Bill Roggio admits there are such reports out there, that this is not wild speculation, but warns that the sources are very suspect:

All of these rumors have been based on Pakistani intelligence sources, which makes the allegations suspect. Without confirmation from the US military or intelligence, the reports from Pakistan should be viewed with deep skepticism.

Well, allow me the opportunity look at this logically. There are two possibilities: (1) Zawahiri is hurt or dead, and (2) Zawahiri is fine. Think about what the motives would be to make up a story that Zawahiri is hurt or dead. It would make sense if the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the region wanted to give the US a pretend victory, a fake trophy head for our wall of accomplishments (right up there with Saddam Hussein’s).

The only reason I could think of to do that is to give the impression our work is all but done in the area and hope the pressure to appease and stop fighting from the Surrendercrats and SurrenderMedia would cause us to pull our forces back. That’s the only warped reasoning I can think of to fake Zawairi’s death. If it was the reason (and clearly it is not) then there would be confirmation of the ISI intelligence (remember, this is not the same as rumors). 

There isn’t denial from the Taliban. They have been very clear in their comments to their SurrenderMedia sources like AP – the only ones killed in the strike where children at a madrassa. So given the typical juvenile logic behind those claims and those sources I think I will take ISI intelligence over the Taliban-AP reports.  As I noted in my first post on this strike, someone big was in the area:

Those must be some high value targets to (a) spend three missiles on them and (b) target them while so close to a religious center where ‘innocent’ civilians could be killed or injured.

Yes, I want Zawahiri to be dead, but I cannot fathom any serious logical reason for the false reports from the ISI while the Taliban deny them. The two don’t really seem to go together. There are only so many reasons to make the false report, and they all have to do with hiding the fact that Zawahiri is alive and hoping we give up going after him. Without a body that ain’t going to happen. I know reports out of the ISI are suspect – I noted that myself. But they have typically tried to send us against empty targets or hide the movement of the enemy. This seems to defy that usual MO.

I respect Bill Roggio immensely, but it is not enough to claim the reports are suspect, there has to be a plausible reason for them to be.  And the only one I can think of is to get us to think we can stop chasing the terrorists and to make Pakistan look good.  After all the other false reports out of ISI, that doesn’t seem to be a smart move. And I can’t see our enemies be that stupid, they are way too deadly to be that stupid.

Update: Here is a link to the Taliban denying Zawahiri was injured or killed.  Here is the original CBS News story on the evidence the ISI provided them – and that too is suspect.  Why would the ISI leak this to the SurrenderMedia? That is one point in favor of this all being a hoax. However, one would think anyone caught falsifying reports inside the ISI would become suspect in the eyes  of many as to their true loyalties. Worth watching how this unfolds. – end update



Too many times I have posted on Predator strikes in the Pakistan Tribal regions hoping Bin Laden or Zawahiri were the targets, only to be disappointed when the results were reported. This last time I decided to temper my optimistic nature to see if luck would change. There are rumors and counter rumors

today Zawahiri might be among those killed in the latest predator strike on Waziristan:

Stratfor reports that the United States is attempting to verify rumors coming out of Pakistan that al Qaeda’s #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed in a July 28 Predator airstrike.

Intelligence sources told The Jawa Report last week that ‘the hunt was on’ in Pakistan for a ‘big fish’. Could this be the big fish they were talking about?

UPDATE: Bill Roggio from The Long War Journal e-mails and says he’s not buying it.

He says that there were at least two Egyptians reported killed: Abu Khabab al Masri and one other guy. He thinks maybe Stratfor heard “Egyptian” and “Waziristan” and equated it with Zawahiri.

Got my fingers crossed!


18 responses so far

18 Responses to “Zawahiri Dead?! – Updated”

  1. kathie says:

    Me too! But Roggio has his fingers on most things important.

  2. Terrye says:

    I heard that CBS is reporting that Zawahiri is either dead or critically injured. I wonder if we will ever know?

  3. Sue says:


    Can you tell if something weird is going on with IE? I can’t get into any of the conservative sites, JOM, HA, Jawa, etc., using IE. Switched to Firefox and it works just fine. Anyone else here having that problem?

  4. crosspatch says:

    Having a painful infection is a long way from dead. From what I understand an intercepted letter said he was in pain and had an infection. That means he survived a bombing and survived it long enough for infection to set in … which takes a couple of days at least. The bombing was on July 28th. Today is four days later. To say “dead” seems to me to be a great leap of wishful thinking. My guess is that he is alive and might even survive if he can get adequate medical treatment.

  5. Terrye says:

    Unless the infection kills him.

  6. crosspatch says:

    True Terrye, but I would guess that would take a while. Death from infection is generally a slow, painful death that eventually results in multiple organ failure. The powerfule tribal heads in that region have billions in heroin money, they can buy antibiotics.

  7. Sue says:


    Sitemeter is causing the problem with IE, apparently.

  8. kathie says:

    This might be helpful Sue.
    Friday, August 01, 2008

    BLOGGER PROBLEM– Please Read

    This is from Apples of Gold

    If you have sitemeter and us Internet Explorer, they are not working together and will not allow
    you to get into your blog. What it also means that I cannot read any blogs with sitemeters on them.
    THIS is a HUGE problem in blogspot land right now.
    What you do is:
    go to
    log in
    get to your dashboard
    then layouts
    remove sitemeter….

    THAT is the only reason my blog is working tonight….
    hope this helps some of you

  9. Sue says:


    I posted that earlier but it didn’t go through.

  10. Molon Labe says:

    Sue, see this post

    Basic idea is add “*” to your restricted sites in IE7. See the post for more info and credit for the guy who posted it.

  11. […] A.J. Strata has his fingers crossed. […]

  12. Sue says:


    The Taliban are indeed denying the report and the alleged author of the letter is denying he wrote it. Not that I believe them, but they are specifically denying Zawahiri was injured or killed.

  13. Sue says:


    I did that last night and all of the sites are working for me now, in IE. I have a new computer and had not downloaed Firefox until last night. Everyone should have two browsers to choose from, so you can at least decide if the problem is browser related or your own computer/ISP. End of public service announcement.

  14. […] over the rumors al-Qaeda’s number two Ayman Zawahiri is possibly dead. As I noted in my last post on this (Part I) there seems to be some plausible information that cannot be confirmed.  But I did find […]

  15. […] go back to my points from yesterday, why fake the news?  It only draws attention to would be sympathizers inside ISI and won’t […]

  16. […] Others: protein wisdom, ThreatsWatch, JammieWearingFool and The Strata-Sphere […]

  17. […] tape’s creation is important in understanding whether this latest message was created before the July 28th predator strike in South Waziristan Agency, where it has been rumored Zawahiri may have been seriously injured. It has been speculated these […]