The Associated Press reports that the Army has offed a major al Qaeda operative in Mosul:
The U.S. military says the No. 2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq has been killed during an operation in the northern city of Mosul.
The military has identified the insurgent leader as a Moroccan known as Abu Qaswarah or Abu Sara.
Wednesday’s statement says he became the senior al-Qaida in Iraq emir of northern Iraq in June 2007 and had ties to senior al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It also says “he was al-Qaida in Iraq’s second-in-command” behind Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who also is known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir.
Nice to hear.
UPDATE: Captain Ed has the story, and links to a more detailed account. He points out that Abu Sara had a habit of summarily executing anyone he smuggled into Iraq for suicide bombings who had the temerity to try to go back where they came from. Two likelihoods: one, that whoever tipped us off about Abu Sara’s location was probably one of those would-be deserters; and two, this will probably trigger a spate of al Qaeda runaways before the number one AQI, al-Masri, has a chance to replace him.