Zarqawi is alive and according to this report from an unnamed US source in the Sunday Times, Zarqawi may have fled to Iran (how convenient for the neocons) after being injured at al-Qaim.

Officials in Washington believe that US forces may have lost their chance of capturing or killing him for now. “If he’s got to Iran, there’s not much we can do,” said one.

US counterterrorism officials dismissed these reports as disinformation while others believe the story is authentic as Islamist websites are “loaded” with prayers for Zarqawi’s recovery.

While the US Pentagon released a statement that it had no way of corroborating any of these reports.

In other reports an extremist website is quoted as the source of the story with a terrorist expert believing in the authenticity of the report because the site is password protected and the latest bulletin is posted in a section where only the moderator has access. So that’s how you authenticate a web statement these days?

However, the Iraqi Interior Minister Bayon Jabor told a news conference that he had been given information five days ago that AZ had moved to Iran. When asked how he knew he replied that “It is my job to know.”

Meanwhile “in the latest of a series of conflicting reports about the health of Zarqawi, a new Internet message said the al-Qaeda operative was in good condition and leading rebel operations.” While this report contradicts the Sunday Times by saying that Zarqawi is fit having been taken to a foreign country for treatment already. Another website claims Al-Zarqawi “was secretly smuggled to a neighboring country a few days ago in a complicated and organized operation,” the message said, but it did not identify the country.

Feeling dizzy? It’s a symptom of Reality Distortion and you will recover only when the media report objectively that there is no substantial evidence that Zarqawi is operating inside Iraq and that these stories are fed into the news chain to convince western audiences that foreign Islamic terrorists are directing the violence within the country when actually the resistance is made up of Iraqis who want the occupiers out. The Zarqawi myth is proving to be just as useful as the legendary missing WMD.

Iran denies harbouring al Zarqawi or al Qaeda operatives. Iran denied on Sunday a British newspaper report that al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had fled to the Islamic republic after being seriously injured in a U.S. missile attack.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the report in the Sunday Times newspaper was without foundation.

“This is an unprofessional kind of fabricating news,” Asefi told a weekly news conference. “Iran is a clear and transparent country, where such covert activities do not take place.”

The last people on earth who want to see Zarqawi, in the present climate, are the Iranians. Just look at what the Americans did to Fallujah and al Qaim based on intelligence that Zarqawi was hiding out there. As Nimmo points out in his blog, “al-Zarqawi has a thing for killing Shi’ites and Iran is a Shi’a Muslim nation. Is there a reason a killer of Shi’ites is allowed refuge in a country teeming with Shi’ites? Does not compute.”

It seems it doesn’t matter if the fabricated stories are water-tight or not because all you have to do is repeat them ad infinitum – as Bush said recently to applause, “See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” Goebbels would be proud. Click to hear in Real Player – about 22 mins in

On chasing “violent extremists”, this story is a week old but al Qaeda make a timely appearance in Palestine, fulfilling the Pentagon fantasy of a global jihad movement which can be fought from Baghdad to Palestine to wherever.

Al-Qaeda has established a foothold in Palestine with a new militant group based in Gaza formed by extremists who have become disillusioned with Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” Annette Young reports for the Scotsman. “Amid the biggest flare-up of violence in Gaza since a ceasefire was declared three months ago by Palestinians and Israelis, the Jerusalem Post has quoted unnamed Palestinian Authority security officials as saying that a new group called Jundallah or ‘Allah’s Brigade’ had links to the terrorist organization headed by Osama bin Laden.”

It’s al Qaeda again! The same organization the Americans and Pakistanis assure us have had their back broken but here they are boldy trying to establish a foothold in Gaza, ahead of the Israeli withdrawal! Israelis say their presence is unnecessary because there are enough hardline Islamic movements working in Palestine that are no different from al Qaeda! Will this be the fate of all resistance movements? To be equated with violent extremists and hunted down in the war against the global jihad?

Just as Hamas gains legitimacy as a mainstream political party, a new terrorist organization springs up in Gaza, and just as the day of the Israeli pullout from the strip draws near. Jundallah (“Allah’s Brigades”) claimed responsibility for an attack on army post near Rafah which left four soldier wounded several days ago.

They were outed by the Jerusalem Post which claimed that they have close ties to al Qaeda in Afghanistan Pakistan and Iraq.

According to an unnamed PA security forces official, Jundallah’s cadre is made up of disaffected Hamas and Islamic Jihad dissidents who believe they have become too moderate. The group’s declared mission is to “avenge the blood of all Palestinians and Muslims who have fallen victim to Israel and the US.” Jundallah have also declared “We don’t attach any importance to [the] truce because the occupation forces are continuing their crimes against our people.”

Our people will not remain idle in the face of American crimes in Muslim countries… It is forbidden to shed the blood of Muslims and it is our duty to respond. The blood of Muslims is not cheap.” A Jundallah spokesperson accused the US of desecrating the Koran and killing Muslims in Iraq. “Soon everyone will see operations [against the US] that would make all the Muslims delighted,” he cautioned.