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None Too Soon

Is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi dead? Maybe:

US authorities are looking into whether Al Qaeda's Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed in a gunfight in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, an US official says.

Then again, US officials aren't ready to pop any corks:

White House spokesman Trent Duffy told Agence France-Presse in Beijing, as President George W Bush was wrapping up a trip to China, that the story was 'highly unlikely, not credible.'

Dear or alive, however, we do have this small bit of good news:

Iraq's most-wanted militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been disowned by members of his family in Jordan who have pledged to "sever links with him until doomsday" and proclaimed their loyalty to Jordan's king, Abdullah II.

The statement, which also removed "protection" from Zarqawi, came amid further protests in Jordan at the suicide bombings at three hotels on November 9 in Amman , the capital, that killed 59 people, including revellers at a wedding party.

One thing's for sure: Zarqawi's Jordanian fundraising efforts have taken a hit.

And another thing. People may pick on President Bush for not being the shiniest penny in the roll, but we can be thankful our enemies have even less gloss. In other words, what the hell was Zarqawi thinking when he attacked Jordan?