Kiss of Death
Does Zarqawi have an infinite supply of lieutenants/deputies/aides/associates/second-in-commands/etc., or do we just arbitrarily declare that every 100th insurgent we capture or kill is "a top aide" to Zarqawi?
Discuss amongst yourselves.
Below is an almost comprehensive list (I'm sure I missed a few) of Zarqawi's "top lieutenants" we've captured, killed, or acknowledged over the last two and a half years. I count 33.
- "The No. 2 official in the al-Qaida in Iraq organization.'
- "The top deputy to Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
- "A lieutenant of al-Qaida terror boss Abu Musab al Zarqawi."
- "Zarqawi's 'main leader in Baghdad'"
- A Syrian dentist...was described by Arab media as the 'number two' in Iraq's al Qaeda network and tipped to succeed its leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi."
- "A top lieutenant of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
- "Suspected deputy of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
- "The Washington Post quoted a Zarqawi lieutenant by the nom-de-guerre of Abu Karrar as saying the Jordanian militant was shot and wounded in fighting with US forces near the western city of Ramadi."
- "Described as one of al-Zarqawi's top lieutenants."
- "A top aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
- "A high-ranking aide to terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
- "A key associate of Iraq's most wanted militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
- "Zarqawi associate"
- "Zarqawi associate"
- "One of the 'princes' of Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist group."
- "Iraqi forces have captured a man described as a trusted aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
- "Zarqawi lieutenant"
- "A propaganda chief of al-Qaeda's frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
- "High-level Zarqawi lieutenant"
- "A senior aide to Abu Musab al Zarqawi"
- "The 'most lethal' top lieutenant of Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq."
- "The raids also netted a man identified as Ismael Jeddan, an alleged associate of al-Zarqawi."
- "top lieutenant"
- "The deputy prime minister for national security affairs, Barham Salih, later told a news conference that authorities have arrested a third Zarqawi lieutenant."
- "Zarqawi's chief of operations in Baghdad"
- "A senior member of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's network."
- "Zarqawi-linked leader"
- "An aide to Iraq's most-wanted man, Jordanian Islamist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
- "A lieutenant of Iraq's most feared terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
- The US military has arrested a 'senior leader' in the network run by Jordanian mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
- "A senior aide of the Jordanian al Qaeda mastermind, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
- "A top aide of al-Qaeda suspect Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
- "His capture removes one of Zarqawi's most valuable officers from his network."
- "A key lieutenant to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
- "The letter was found on al-Zarqawi lieutenant Hassan Ghul, a Pakistani captured in Iraq."
- The letter in reference was a "17-page letter to senior al Qaeda leaders written by terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who asked for help starting a Muslim civil war between Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites."
- "An associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been captured in the Baghdad area."
From the looks of it, I think everyone in Iraq is about two-degrees from Zarqawi.
Note also that after many of these announcements, we were told that it would be a "fatal blow" to the Iraqi insurgency or that we were oh-so close to capturing Zarqawi himself.
(hat tip to this site for pointing out to me a few that I missed)