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Coalition Forces Holding Zarqawi Aide

U.S. forces in Iraq are holding a senior operative of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who has joint American-Jordanian citizenship, defense officials said Thursday. The man was captured in a raid by U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq late in 2004, said Matthew Waxman, the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs. “Weapons and bomb-making materials were in his residence at the time he was captured,” Waxman said. Waxman described the man as an associate of Zarqawi and an emissary to insurgent groups in several cities in Iraq. Zarqawi, who has declared his allegiance to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network, is the most-wanted man in Iraq and is blamed for numerous bombings since the U.S.-led invasion removed Saddam Hussein from power two years ago. Defense officials also believe the captured American helped coordinate the movement of insurgents and money into Iraq, Waxman said. The officials said the man holds joint U.S.-Jordanian citizenship but declined to provide his hometown or otherwise identify him. Full Story

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