Monday, January 08, 2007

Yoo hoo! Editors?

This one might be fixed (actually, it'd be awfully nice if it was fixed) by morning, but meanwhile:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. gunship attacked suspected al Qaeda targets in southern Somalia, a senior Pentagon official said Monday.

The AC-130 flew its mission within the last 24 hours, the official told CNN. The operation was launched based on intelligence that al Qaeda operatives were at the location, but there was no immediate indication of how successful the strike had been.

OK, aside from a bad case of Elongated Yellow Fruit Syndrome, we might have a story here, or we might not. Anybody worth targeting in this, um, "operation"?

... He did not identify the operatives, but U.S. officials accused the Islamic Courts Union of harboring suspects in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

All right. You have my attention.

... U.S. authorities believe three al Qaeda operatives accused in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania have been hiding in Somalia for years.
The three are believed to be closely tied to the Somali Islamic group - the ICU.

The FBI Web site lists the wanted men as Fahid Mohammad Ally Msalam; Fazul Abdullah Mohammed; Ahmed Mohammed Hamed Ali; Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah; Anas al-Liby; and Ayman al-Zawahri.

Say, kids! Would that be the Ayman al-Zawahri who ...

Rewards for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of each of the suspects is up to $5 million. However, there is a reward of up to $25 million for al-Zawahri.

Wow, sounds like it might be the ...

According to the FBI, al-Zawahri is a physician and founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, an organization opposed to the secular Egyptian government. In approximately 1998, the EIJ, led by al-Zawahri, merged with al Qaeda.

OK! Is this who we ... well, let's just leave the reader in suspense for, oh, another seven grafs, shall we? No hurry!

... Al Qaeda's deputy leader urged Somalia's Islamic militia to attack Ethiopian forces, according to an audiotape on the Internet, The Associated Press reported last week.

And who would he be?

"I speak to you today as the crusader Ethiopian invasion forces violate the soil of the beloved Muslim Somalia," said Ayman al-Zawahri, the AP reported.

Don't tell me! Is that the same Ayman al-Zawahri mentioned above?

About 40 percent of Ethiopians are Christian, according to the U.S. State Department.

Oh, for God's sake. Did it occur to nobody at CNN to clarify whether the Ayman "Z-Money" al-Zawahri mentioned in the penultimate graf might be the Ayman "Fordham Flash" al-Zawahri tossed off at the end of the 9th graf? Or that if they are the same dude, whether they have anything to do with the developments at the top? And that if (a) and (b), maybe it might be worth asking the writer if he/she/they might be burying a mildly compelling lede?

Sort of makes you long for the days when news came from newspapers.


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