A message posted today, February 28th, 2005 to a jihadist message board, allegedly written by Al-Qaeda in Iraq (Qaedat al-jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn), denies media reports that an assistant to its leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been arrested in Iraq.
As this was the not the first media report alleging that a top Zarqawi aide has been arrested, the group remarks that ?we see the crusader?s media trying to cover up their failures and defeats and announcing that they have arrested the assistant of our Sheikh, Abu Musab [Zarqawi], may Allah protect him. I do not know how many assistants they have arrested and how many lies they have made up.?
As reassurance to its followers, the group goes on to state that ?we hereby inform our brothers that our leaders are in the best of condition, praise be upon Allah. They head the ranks and urge the believers, protected by their swords.?
The message could not be verified as originating from al-Qaeda in Iraq.
A full translation of the message is provided to our Intel Service members.