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Right Shoes, Wrong Feet

Borrowed shoes lead to false ID.

BAGHDAD (XF) - The Xsociate Files has learned that the latest claim of the death of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi may have been premature. The error was blamed on the part of Army investigators sent to identify the remains of the Ansar Al-Islam leader after the air strike that was reported to have killed him and several of his aides.

One soldier, who asked not to be named, said that Zarqawi had been initially listed as dead because one of the corpses in the targeted safehouse had been wearing a pair of New Balance tennis shoes, the same type worn by Zarqawi in recent footage released by the US Army.

"There wasn't much left of the bodies after the airstrike," the soldier said. "They were pretty much hamburger after we got through with them. The only clue we had was the tennis shoes, which oddly enough didn't have a scratch on them."

A Pentagon official who also spoke to XF on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media claims that faulty intelligence is to blame for the initial misidentification.

"We had reason to believe that Zarqawi was still in possession of those New Balance shoes. However, we subsequently learned that he had given them to a subordinate because they gave him blisters," the official said. "We also have not been able to confirm whether or not Zarqawi has in fact purchased a new pair of Nike's."


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