Yahoo! News reported A top aide to Al-Qaeda frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been captured in Iraq's northern city of Mosul, the US military revealed. Mohammed Khalaf Shakar, also known as Abu Talha, is "Zarqawi's most trusted operations agent in all of Iraq," a military statement said Thursday. "This is a major defeat for the Al-Qaeda's terrorist organisation in Iraq. Zarqawi's leader in Mosul is out of business," said US Air Force Brigadier General Donald Alston. According to the military statement, he surrendered to US and Iraqi forces on Tuesday without a fight
He was said to always wear a homicide vest, and claimed he would never be taken alive, but when it came time to push the button, apparently he decided life in prison was better than where he would have gone.in "a quiet neighbourhood in Mosul" after they were led to his whereabouts by "multiple intelligence sources."
Jan Haugland: blogged If I am allowed to be cynical, I seem to recall a lot of "top aides" to Zarqawi being captured earlier. There is little chance of anyone actually knowing the poisition and importance of these people, and the coalition and Iraqi government have every incentive to speak up their importance. However, a bit of searching reveals that Abu Talha is in fact earlier described as Zarqawi's most important aide. Let's hope this pressure makes the anti-Iraqi forces run out of steam, sooner rather than later.
John @PowerLine blogged I hope he's being questioned by the Iraqis, and that they're not just playing pop music for him.
Charles Johnson blogged Got a Big Fish in Iraq