False Alarm: Al-Qaeda Boss Still Loose in Iraq

Iraqis got the wrong guy, military says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 11:40 AM CDT
In this June 15 2006 file photo, a U.S. soldier at a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq stands by a photograph that purports to show Abu Ayyub al-Masri who is the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)
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(Newser) – Iraqi officials jumped the gun yesterday when they announced the capture of the top commander of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the US military said today. It turns out the man they captured isn’t Abu Ayyub al-Masri; he just has a similar name. The hunt for the real al-Masri, who has a $5 million bounty on his head, is still going on.

“The person who was detained has nothing to do with him,” said an Iraqi government spokesman. “He is not even a senior leader in al-Qaeda, he is just an ordinary member.”