According to a New York Times report about new violence in Iraq this morning:
Three days ago, a prominent Sunni extremist, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, called for an escalation of attacks against local residents who aligned themselves with American forces.
Mr. Baghdadi is the purported leader of the Islamic State in Iraq, a militant group linked with Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a homegrown Sunni Arab extremist group that American intelligence agencies have concluded is foreign led.
Paul McLeary is senior editor of Defense Technology International magazine, and is a former CJR staffer.
While the Times manages to stick in its newish boilerplate that al Qaeda in Iraq is an indigenous force that is foreign-led, it forgets to mention that according to intelligence put out there by the American military, Al-Baghdadi doesn’t exist. Evidence shows that he is actually a character played by an actor named Abu Abdullah al Naima. Now, it doesn’t matter if a pseudonymous mouthpiece for al Qeada in Iraq is calling for violence or not—the group is still calling for violence—but the Times should note this. Accuracy matters.