BAGHDAD, May 1 — The Iraqi government said Tuesday that it was investigating reports from “reliable sources” that the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, had been killed in an ambush by a rival insurgent faction.
Iraqi officials, desperate to show gains against a relentless insurgency, have in the past trumpeted the killing or capture of major insurgent leaders — including Mr. Masri — only to retract the claims later.
from the New York Times
Officials, both in Iraq and in Washington, should be more circumspect in touting each successive capture or kill as “a major blow to Al-Qaeda in Country X”. Eliminating one terror leader, even a national commander, does no more damage to the overall Jihadist movement than the scandalous resignation of the CEO of British Petroleum does to International Capitalism. There are always a dozen bright, ambitions, vicious and driven underlings eager to take over the top spot, and learn from his predecesor’s missteps. It’s a Darwinian descent into ever-more efficient mortal enemies.
Now, if an entire terrorist organization were to turn themselves in to American troops en masse, or we managed to target some kind of terrorist annual conference or national jamboree, well, that would be something more on the level of the collapse of Enron, and be something worth celebrating.