Iraq national security advisor: number 2 AQ in Iraq arrested

Good news:

BAGHDAD, Sept. 3 — Iraqi armed forces have arrested the No. 2 leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the country’s national security leader said Sunday.

The leader, Hamed Jumaa Faris Juri al-Saaydi, was captured within the past few days near Baqubah, along with 20 other senior members of the Sunni Arab insurgent group, which was responsible for savage beheadings of kidnapped foreigners and suicide attacks that sometimes killed dozens of civilians in a single strike, said the security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie.

Saaydi was second to Abu Ayyub al-Masri, Rubaie said. Masri had succeeded insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in June by a U.S. airstrike on a safe house in Baqubah.

“We now think al-Qaeda in Iraq is suffering a great deal and disintegrating,” Rubaie said in a news conference at the U.S.-controlled Green Zone that was broadcast live across the Middle East. “The al-Qaeda organization is suffering from a leadership crisis.”

Saaydi, also known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, ordered the February attack on the golden-domed Shiite shrine in Samara that ignited the ongoing ferocious wave of sectarian killings, Rubaie said. He accused Saaydi of trying to spark a civil war between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiite Muslims.

Rubaie said Iraqi forces had been tracking Saaydi’s movements since the killing of Zarqawi three months ago. Saaydi was hiding inside a home surrounded by women and children whom he was using as a “human shield,” Rubaie said.

Sounds to me like that “Bush creation” Zarqawi’s demise helped lead Iraqi forces straight to AQ in Iraq’s now-number 2 terrorist. Of course, he’s probably a “Bush creation” too …

Update/Related: Jules Crittenden recaps the progress we’ve made in the war on terror this summer, and reminds us that, though the war on terror will be a long one, we must never waver in our quest for victory.

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