Wednesday, May 04, 2005
On this day:

Take That

Alleged Al-Zarqawi Letter Shows Low Morale By THOMAS WAGNER
The U.S. military released on Tuesday a letter it believes was addressed to terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from an underling complaining that incompetence of leaders in his al-Qaida in Iraq network is hurting morale among his fighters. The letter's authenticity could not be independently confirmed. It was the latest in a series of claims by U.S.-led forces of progress in the fight against Iraq's bloody insurgency, including defeating militants in skirmishes, raiding their hidden arms caches and getting tips about them from Iraqi informants. But the claims come at a time when insurgents have dramatically stepped up attacks, including large suicide bombings, killing nearly 170 people in six days. Al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born militant who has declared his allegiance to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, is the most wanted man in Iraq. He is tied to many bombings, kidnappings and beheadings of hostages since the U.S.-led invasion removed Saddam Hussein from power two years ago. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the letter is believed to be authentic and "gives the indication that his (al-Zarqawi's) influence and effectiveness are deteriorating." "It describes low morale and weak and incompetent leadership," Whitman said, though he added that al-Zarqawi's organization can continue to carry out significant attacks.