RealNews

U.S. Casts Fugitive as a Super-Villain

Last month, a Jordanian gunman trapped in a terrorist safe house fought a U.S. Army platoon to the death here in the dusty badlands of western Iraq. After the gunman fell, U.S. troops discovered a hoard of explosives, guns, passports and a suicide bomber vest. And they hit pay dirt: In the debris were two photos of a Jordanian fugitive named Abu Musab Zarqawi. The slain man turned out to be a Zarqawi bomb maker being harbored by a former colonel in Iraqi intelligence. The incident produced a rare tangible trace of a 37-year-old accused terrorist who has attained notoriety in recent days. Iraqi and U.S. leaders call Zarqawi the mastermind of an eight-month wave of attacks in the country, most recently the multiple bombings at Shiite Muslim shrines that killed as many as 271 people last week. Almost every day, U.S. officials here display a confiscated letter, allegedly written by Zarqawi, that claims responsibility for 25 suicide attacks and lays out a blueprint for plunging Iraq into sectarian chaos. There is a $10-million price on his head. Full Story

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