Al Qaeda's #2 Man
March 19, 2004 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri -- Al Qaeda's #2 man, may be soon be captured or killed. This New Yorker profile from 2002 is the most extensive I've found.
posted by gwint (27 comments total)
Sorry about the typo.
posted by gwint at 7:36 AM on March 19, 2004

We're hearing at my work that bin Laden has been captured. Announcement expected 4pm.
posted by bonaldi at 7:40 AM on March 19, 2004

bonaldi - where'd you hear that from (or do you work in a news-related area)?
posted by kokogiak at 7:45 AM on March 19, 2004

I work in a newspaper, and we've just heard from the usually-reliable that he's bagged, and that ties in with what a number of our correspondents are telling us. And the White House has just called a conference. Links as soon as I see em...
posted by bonaldi at 7:46 AM on March 19, 2004

Man... Thanks for the updates bonaldi.
posted by kokogiak at 7:49 AM on March 19, 2004

I'm not getting my hopes up, and I won't believe it till I see them shining the flashlight in his mouth on TV.
posted by brownpau at 7:50 AM on March 19, 2004

Izzat 4 PM EST, bonaldi?
posted by trharlan at 7:50 AM on March 19, 2004

posted by crank at 7:54 AM on March 19, 2004
posted by Outlawyr at 7:55 AM on March 19, 2004

Bonaldi, do you mean you saw this on, or are you saying your org spoke with someone from that org? Because there's no mention of this on that site's front page.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:56 AM on March 19, 2004

Yep. My org talked to theirs. BBC has just brought up an image of the briefing room, says an "address from the President" in five minutes' time.
posted by bonaldi at 7:58 AM on March 19, 2004

NPR reported this morning that there were many different reports floating around. Some said al-Zawahiri had escaped. Some said he'd been captured. Some said he'd been killed. Some said bin Laden was there too. Most said he wasn't. We really need to wait and see on this.
posted by jpoulos at 8:00 AM on March 19, 2004

If it's true, that would rock. It's about time they caught him. It would be nice if we had done this a year ago, instead of getting distracted with other matters.

On the other hand, I've also read at least one account that their "high-value" target has escaped. So we'll see.

The worst part about all of this is that nixing bin Laden et al is not going to have any effect on the use of terrorism in the long run. Al Qaeda let the genie out of the bottle by showing how it is possible for a small group of individuals to cause major problems for even the strongest world power.
posted by moonbiter at 8:00 AM on March 19, 2004

I should clarify. Most reports didn't say bin Laden was there too. I don't think anyone is specifically saying that he isn't.
posted by jpoulos at 8:02 AM on March 19, 2004

Google news reports that Bush is going to talk about the one-year anniversary of his war. Could that be why the White House has called a press conference?
posted by interrobang at 8:02 AM on March 19, 2004

Or then again the Pakistani Army might just be putting up a show as TalkingPointsMemo suggests.
posted by hoskala at 8:04 AM on March 19, 2004

No mention of Bin Laden or any other specific terrorist so far in the Bush address.
posted by ashbury at 8:06 AM on March 19, 2004

Google news reports that Bush is going to talk about the one-year anniversary of his war. Could that be why the White House has called a press conference suddenly (supposedly) captured Bin Laden?
posted by soyjoy at 8:09 AM on March 19, 2004

And this is why I'm glad we only print once a week. I'd hate to work on rolling news.

Yep, so far no mention. Don't think there will be one either. Curses.
posted by bonaldi at 8:10 AM on March 19, 2004

Go go journalistic blogosphere!
posted by brownpau at 8:12 AM on March 19, 2004

So, if they bag bin Laden now, what's left for the October surprise? You know he's got more aces up his abysmal sleeve.
posted by moonbird at 9:19 AM on March 19, 2004

By the way, dear friends who have to speak on television about all this: It is al za-WA-hir-I .

Juan Cole

Tips on pronounciation of Arabic in regards to proper names from those in the know would be of some utility for us all. languagehat? scarabic? anyone?
posted by y2karl at 9:26 AM on March 19, 2004

VOA's excellent guide is here

another pronunciation guide here

Al Habbaniyah: ahl hah-BAHN-eee-ya
A city in Iraq, west of Baghdad, and site of an airbase and three weapons-production facilities.

Al Qaeda: ahl-KY-duh
International terrorist network that claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks; "Al Qaeda means "the base"

Ar Ramadi: ahr rah-MAH-dee
A provincial capital in central Iraq, on the Euphrates River. The name also appears as Ramadie or Rumadiya.


and here
posted by matteo at 10:15 AM on March 19, 2004

Cole is right. Hard Z, stress on the waa.

plural of Zaahira, phenomenon. Why the guy is named "the phenomena-ite" is an open question. Could be a place name, or a reference to the concept of Zawahir al-Quran, the meanings of the Quran.

Those al-INSERT WORD HERE-ii names are called nisbas are often a bit obscure. My favorite was a source I used for my dissertation, a scholar/chronicler known as al-Kabbabi. History does not record if he was called that because of an ancestor who was a kebab guy, or if he lived near a kebab stand, or if he just ate a lot of kebab.

Correct pronunciation: In general, don't worry about it. Most spellings that appear in the newspaper treat short and long vowels as the same. To get something like al-Zawahiri right, you would have to have a feel for the ten major patterns of irregular plurals and just "know" that Zawahiiri didn't sound right.

There is a reason only something like 500 non-Arab Americans speak Arabic.

Oh, and some of the pronunciations matteo lists are wrong. Don't get me started on al-kayda. Qaa-id-a! Qaa-id-a! Why is that so hard?
posted by ednopantz at 10:44 AM on March 19, 2004

yes, it is important to get his name right before we kill and or capture him.

posted by clavdivs at 11:08 AM on March 19, 2004

Pakistan Changes the Subject
posted by homunculus at 1:33 PM on March 21, 2004

« Older Mysterious Fax Adds to Intrigue Over the Medicare...   |   Veterans Implosion. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments