Al Qaeda leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masiri and Abu Omar al Baghdadi are reportedly confirmed dead in Iraq according to that country’s prime minister, Nouri al Maliki. I’ll have continuing updates as information is available. See update below.
Maliki says the men were killed this past weekend, and offered photos of two bodies to reporters. Al Masri and al Baghdadi were allegedly hiding in a home in or near Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.
One caution about this report:
The Iraqi government has claimed multiple times over that it had either captured or killed al Bafhdadi, most recently a year ago.
Iraq says they have confirmed the deaths of both men through DNA, but some analysts are still not completely convinced about the death of al Baghdadi. Some of the problems in identifying Abu Omar al Baghdadi stem from believing the al Baghdadi name was used for numerous Iraqi terrorists. In fact, they are not completely certain there is actually a man named Abu Omar al Baghdadi.