Abu Maisara al-Iraqi denies claim about appointment of Abu Hafs as deputy chief to wounded Zarqawi.
DUBAI – An Internet statement signed by the usual website poster of communiques by Al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch denied Thursday the group had named a deputy chief to its wounded leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
"The information section of the Al-Qaeda Organization has its own media outlets known to Muslims, which is the name Abu Maisara al-Iraqi," the statement, whose authenticity could not be confirmed, said in reference to the name that most often accompanies statements purportedly coming from the group.
"We deny the claim about the appointment of one Abu Hafs or anyone else," it said.
The statement was signed by the information section of Al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of Two Rivers, like one posted on an Islamist website earlier Thursday claiming the appointment of Abu Hafs al-Qarni as deputy chief of the group pending Zarqawi’s recovery from his wounds.
However, the first statement carried the name of Abu Dajjana al-Tunesi as the poster, whereas the denial was in the name of Abu Maisara al-Iraqi, who announced Tuesday that Zarqawi had been wounded.
US officials, who initially reacted skeptically to reports that Zarqawi was wounded, gave greater credence to the claims Wednesday although they said they still have not been able to confirm them.
The Washington Post quoted a Zarqawi lieutenant by the nom-de-guerre of Abu Karrar as saying the Jordanian militant was shot and wounded in fighting with US forces near the western city of Ramadi on Saturday and Sunday.
Quello che dovrebbe essere il Dipartimento Informazione di Al Qaeda in Iraq nega che Zarqawi sia morto, ma non sembra negare il suo ferimento.