Saudi newspaper Al Watan Daily has reported that the al-Qaeda terrorist organization's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been apprehended according to Iraqi sources. The alleged arrest was made near the border Iraqi-Syrian border. The day after the story was published, al-Qaeda published a statement on an Islamist website denying the reports of Zarqawi's capture.
"Our sheikh Abu Musab, may God watch over him, is in good health. He is preparing for battles and is leading the fight in Iraq," read a statement from the Organization of Al-Qaeda of Jihad published on an Islamist website.
The authenticity of the message could not immediately be verified.
The Saudi paper said that the arrest of al-Zarqawi was completed ahead the recent visit of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Iraq. This visit took place early February.