Boy wouldn't that be nice...
Drudge is reporting
URGENT: 'TARGET #1': al-Zarqawi reportedly arrested in Iraq
Tue Jan 04 2005 09:49:47 ET
At this point U.S. military and intelligence sources are denying that al-Zarqawi has been captured.
Strategically it would make sense to wait as long as possible to announce the capture of so high profile a target... if the enemy doesn't know you have their leader then you have more time to garner information about the enemy's network, you have more time to lay traps and find all the key players. For instance, if we had al-Zarqawi in custody and kept that in secret we could, in theory, lay a trap for Bin Laden or at least find and capture more of al-Zarqawi's terrorist network.
Once the cat is out of the bag, though, there is little use in trying to put on a charade and lay traps for the enemy. It seems unlikely, therefore, that the US would continue to deny al-Zarqawi's capture once it has been reported in the press if we actually had him. Because the US military sources continue to deny al-Zarqawi's capture, it only stands to reason that al-Zarqawi is still on the loose.