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Recent Images of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Shown by Western News Agencies

Robert Raffaele

Two Western news agencies have obtained what are believed to be the most recent images of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq. The U.S. has offered $25 million for information leading to his capture or death. 

 

These are believed to be the first clear pictures in years of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - the man U.S. officials say is behind most of the insurgent attacks in Iraq. ABC News says sources claim these images - in which Zarqawi has a well-trimmed beard and appears to be talking to unidentified men, come from a video made sometime around last November.

 

Former CIA counter-terrorism Chief Vince Cannistraro says, "All of this adds up to a much better picture of what he looks like, where he's going, what he's doing. That leads us a lot closer to finding him."

 

Zarqawi is believed to be responsible for numerous car bombings and beheadings in Iraq.

His affiliation with al-Qaida once again draws attention to the unsuccessful hunt for Osama bin Laden. Last week, President Bush confirmed U.S. intelligence reports that claimed bin Laden has enlisted Zarqawi's help to plan new attacks inside the United States.

 

"Bin Laden is there in the background , but he is more of a figurehead now, more of a symbol," says Vince Cannistraro.

 

So far, the hunt for Zarqawi has also been futile.  In some cases, coalition forces have reportedly missed him by a matter of minutes.

 

"He always seems to be alert to what the activities are of the coalition in trying to find him," says Mr. Cannistraro.

 

The latest images came as Zarqawi's group - "al Qaida in Iraq" - claimed responsibility for several attacks in Baquoba Monday - killing 21 people.

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