One-Minute Article: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has a cold


Earlybird Mary Anne Weaver gets the worm with a fully rendered third-person profile of the Zero of Zarqa ready to go from The Atlantic's July issue: "The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"

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He would later rename himself Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

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"At the time of jihad, you can get vast amounts of money with a simple telephone call. I myself once collected three million dollars, which my father had arranged with a single call."

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As I wandered with my driver around the al-Masoum neighborhood—visiting the al-Falah mosque, a tiny green-latticed structure where al-Zarqawi had been "returned" to Islam; searching for the cemetery that had been his favorite childhood playground (which we never found); and talking to al-Zarqawi's neighbors and friends—it became clear to me that although government officials in Amman had said that al-Zarqawi's popularity had plummeted since he had bombed the hotels there, Zarqa, at least, still appeared to be his town.

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Whether al-Zarqawi was ever tortured is a matter of dispute: some of his followers say he was; Jordanian government officials, perhaps predictably, say he was not

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"Zarqawi had the ambition to become what he has, but whatever happens, even if he becomes the most popular figure in Iraq, he can never go against the symbolism that bin Laden represents."