Baghdad, 2 June (AKI) - The Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq - died on Friday and his body is in Fallujah's cemetary, an Iraqi Sunni sheikh, Ammar Abdel Rahim Nasir, has told the Saudi on-line newspaper Al-Medina. He claims that gunfights which broke out in Fallujah in the last few days involved militants trying to protect the insurgency leader's tomb from a group of American soldiers patrolling the area.
During a telephone conversation from the city of Fallujah with the Saudi newspaper, Nasir said al-Zarqawi was taken there after being injured in the city of Ramadi around three weeks ago, and may have been treated by two doctors who had worked with his aides in Baghdad. He said the two doctors had stopped a serious haemorrhage in al-Zarqawi's intestines, but that after his condition worsened last week, the militant died on Friday.
Nasir adds that in his will the insurgent leader left the order that no funeral should be held for him and the right to announce his death should be left to the al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden.
The Al-Medina newspaper reports that it also called the headmaster of a school in Fallujah, who preferred to remain anonymous, but confirmed that many people in the city were aware of the fact that al-Zarqawi had recently been taken to the city.
Sheikh Nasir's claims appear to correspond with reports several weeks ago that al-Zarqawi had been injured and taken to Ramadi hospital for emergency treatment, and with messages on the Internet talking of two Arab doctors accompanying him. Al-Zarqawi was reported to have been seen at the hospital on April 27. The hospital's director told an Iraq-based newspaper that US troops later surrounded and raided the entire building, searching for the Jordanian militant.
Only two days ago, an audio message attributed to al-Zarqawi was posted on the Internet, in which he assured his followers that he had only been lightly injured. Following the message, the US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned countries neighbouring Iraq not to give any medical assistance to al-Zarqawi. "Our current theory is that he is in Iraq," he said. "Were a neighbouring country to take him in and provide medical assistance or haven for him, they obviously would be associating themselves with a major linkage in the al-Qaeda network, and a person who has a great deal of blood on his hands," Rumsfeld continued. "And that's something that people would want to take note of."
IRAQ: FALLUJAH SHEIKH SAYS AL-ZARQAWI DIED ON FRIDAY
British telecoms operator BT Group Plc has wired up a church in Wales to allow the congregation to hook onto local high-speed Internet connections when they want a break from the sermon. Britain's largest fixed-line telecoms operator said on Tuesday it had installed a Wi-Fi wireless network access point, known as a hotspot, in Reverend Keith Kimber's St John's Rectory church in the city of Cardiff.Well, as long as they read bloggie, I have no problem either. Actually that's not true. Do I really want people reading bloggie from church? It's bad enough that I curse but to think that someone is reading my cursing while they're in church, it's...I dunno...it seems so wrong! Which brings me to my next question: if someone reads my cursing while they're in church, am I going to go to hell or are they?
"The church has to move with the times and I wanted to make St John's a sanctuary for everyone, including business people with laptops and mobiles," Kimber said in a statement issued by BT. "I have no problem with people quietly sending an email or surfing the Internet in church, as long as they respect the church."
So much for separation of church and state. Iraqi expatriate Joseph Najib, currently residing in Switzerland, has patented a prayer carpet that features an embedded compass that points to Mecca, allowing the Muslim faithful to direct their supplications in the required direction. Najib's Herculean labors on behalf of the faithful have not gone unnoticed: His carpet company has received an order for 10 million of his innovative rugs from the Pentagon. Five million rugs will feature two hands shaking, one embossed with the Afghan flag, the other bearing the Stars and Stripes under the inscription, "A Gift from the American People." The other floor coverings will feature a similar logo with a U.S. and Iraqi flag, displaying the Arabic "takbir" inscription "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great.") The proclamation was added to the Iraqi banner during the 1991 Gulf War and the script is in Saddam Hussein's handwriting, a minor point certain to inflame patriotic congressmen. The carpets will be donated to mosques and pilgrimage sites, to be distributed to believers in Afghanistan and Iraq in a public-relations effort to improve the United States' image.I think it's very likely that it'll be seen as an insult to be asked to pray on a rug with the US flag on it. Good intentions, but I'm not sure how much sense this makes.
UPI hears ...
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may be a “composite figure" and a propaganda creation of either Iraq’s Baathist insurgency or the U.S. government.Leaving aside Hersh's irresponsible lunacy for the moment, Media Matters© for® America™ (the George Soros-funded employer of David Brock, Atrios and Oliver Willis) criticises a CNN reporter for mentioning Zarqawi as the link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, calling it a "discredited" theory. Actually, it's anything but. Iyad Allawi doesn't think so. Neither does King Abdullah. But the monkeys-for-hire at Media™ Matters© for America® know better. As Donald Luskin has said, nothing that Media Matters for America says matters.
This interactive tool illustrates the devastating effects of a nuclear weapon detonation in selected U.S. cities. The size of the weapon and the height at which it is detonated are the two main factors which affect the range of destruction. The size of the bomb can be chosen by selecting the weapon's yield, as measured in kilotons (KT) or megatons (MT) of TNT equivalent. There is also the option of having the bomb delivered using an automobile at ground level or using an aircraft flying at an altitude which produces the widest area of destruction.Morbidly interesting.
Red Circle: Intense heat from the explosion will likely cause widespread fires within this region.
Blue Circle: Most homes are completely destroyed and stronger commercial buildings will be severely damaged due to the high pressure blast wave in this region.
Yellow Circle: Moderate damage to buildings causing some risk to people due to flying debris is caused by the blast wave in this region.
For those interested in the technical details, this tool is based upon data obtained from The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. The blue and yellow contours mark overpressures of 5 psi and 2 psi, respectively. The blast radius scales with the weapon's yield as a cube root law. Choosing to deliver the bomb by aircraft assumes it is flying at an altitude which maximizes the size of the 5 psi contour. The red contour marks the region in which the thermal flux is 15 cal/cm2 or higher. This is likely to cause many materials to begin combustion, which can then spread into much larger fires. This model, however, does not take into account obstructions which may block some of the heat radiating from the fireball.