The Fourth Rail has this: IRAQ: The Abu Omar al-Bagdadi Saga
For the third time this week, Abu Omar al-Bagdadi, the leader of al-Qaeda's political front organization the Islamic State of Iraq, was reported captured by the Iraqi Interior Ministry. And for the third time this week, Baghdadi's capture turned out to be untrue. On March 4th, Baghdadi was reportedly captured in Duluiya in Salahadin province. Baghdadi was then reported to have been captured in the Dora neighborhood Baghdad on March 5th. Yesterday, Baghdadi was reported to have been captured in Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry has now denied the latest claim, however a senior al-Qaeda leader was arrested during a raid in Abu Ghraib.
"After preliminary investigations, it was proven that the arrested al-Qaida person is not Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, but, in fact, another important al-Qaida official," said Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Mousawi, the Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman. "Interrogations and investigations are still under way to get more information."
The March 5th raid in Duluiya is said to have netted Abdullah Latif al-Jaburi - aka Abu Abdullah - the second in command of the Islamic State in Iraq. Announcements on the capture of death of senior al-Qaeda and insurgent leaders should be taken with a healthy does of skepticism.
Yahoo News had this yesterday:
Islamic State of Iraq Leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi Nabbed in Iraq Raid
The shadowy leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida-inspired group that challenged the authority of Iraq's government, was captured Friday in a raid on the western outskirts of Baghdad, an Iraqi military spokesman said.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was arrested along with several other insurgents in a raid in the town of Abu Ghraib, said Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman for the Baghdad security operation. U.S. officials had no confirmation of the capture and said they were looking into the report.
Al-Moussawi said al-Baghdadi admitted his identity, as did another of the terrorists who confirmed that the one in our hands is al-Baghdadi.
The arrest of al-Baghdadi would be a major victory for U.S. and Iraqi forces in their fight against Sunni insurgents, especially the hardcore religious extremists who have shown no interest in negotiating an end to their struggle.
The purported arrest comes at a time when the Baghdad security operation is showing early signs of progress in curbing violence. Car bombings have decreased in frequency, despite last Monday's devastating blast that killed 38 and this week's rash of assaults against Shiite pilgrims that claimed more than 340 lives nationwide.