IRAQI TERROR KINGPIN FOUND?

One of the things that has made the guerilla attacks in Iraq so damn scary is that the people behind them has been a mystery. There's no Osama, no Arafat to blame for the carnage.Now, CNN claims to have found a mastermind: General Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, the northern regional commander in Saddam's military."Al-Duri, the 'King of Clubs' in the U.S. military's 'most wanted' deck of cards, is the highest-ranking member of the Saddam Hussein regime still at large, except for Saddam himself," CNN notes.The network says "Pentagon officials" -- relying on confessions by freshly-captured members of the Ansar Al-Islam terror group -- have fingered Al-Duri as the kingpin.It's a big breakthrough, if true. But, as with all "first reports," take this one with a grain of salt...THERE'S MORE: "Senior American officials" now say there's evidence that Saddam may be behind the insurgency.Of course, this "role by Mr. Hussein could not be corroborated, and one senior official cautioned that recent intelligence reports contained conflicting assessments," according to the Times.Hmm... Front page claims, backed by hazy intelligence... This all sounds so familiar, somehow...AND MORE: "Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said on Friday that he saw no signs that Saddam Hussein was active in coordinating attacks on American forces in Iraq," Reuters reports.

"I don't know where he is or what he's doing, but we really don't have the evidence to put together a claim that he is pulling all the strings among these remnants in Baghdad and other parts of the country that are causing us the difficulty," Mr. Powell said on the ABC News program "Nightline," according to a transcript.He also cast doubt on reports that one of Mr. Hussein's deputies, Izzat Ibrahim, was behind the attacks, saying, "I see no evidence to support that."
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