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September 29, 2007
Al-Qaeda Leader in Iraq Killed by Coalition Forces
One of the major figures in the al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist group has been killed according to the US military:
U.S.-led coalition forces killed militant leader Abu Usama al-Tunisi on Tuesday in Mussayib, south of Baghdad, said Army Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson, speaking to Pentagon reporters via teleconference from Iraq. Funny how those "likely successors" keep ending up succeeding in getting killed.
Anderson called the death "a significant blow" to al Qaeda in Iraq -- a Sunni-dominated militant group that takes its inspiration from Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.
Military commanders have said the leadership in the Iraqi group includes many foreigners, while the rank-and-file members are Iraqis. Anderson called al-Tunisi "a close associate and part of the inner circle of close advisers to Abu Ayyub al-Masri ... the overall leader of al Qaeda in Iraq and his likely successor."
It seems clear that the political progress being made in the provinces is leading directly to the capture or death of many senior al-Qaeda leaders. This will drive the group further underground this making their attacks harder to plan and carry out.