Abu Sulayman al-`Utaybi that is. On May 11, al-Fajr Media Center (one of the main distribution points for AQ material) posted a statement on the forums by Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a senior AQ leader in Afghanistan. Abu al-Yazid announced the death of al-`Utaybi, who was killed fighting U.S. forces in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.
A sympathetic news source, Almoslim.net, says that he was probably killed on Saturday, May 10, when the Afghan government claimed that five people were killed fighting in Paktia Province.
According to a May 12 statement by the Global Islamic Media Center (another important distribution organ), `Utaybi had been a Sharia judge for the Islamic State of Iraq, but had been dismissed from his post. According to Abu al-Yazid’s May 11 statement, `Utaybi left Iraq six months ago for Afghanistan.
`Utaybi was a prominent militant in Iraq and you can find videos of him online, wagging the righteous finger (or, to use the Jihadi term, sabbabat al-tawhid–“the index finger of monotheism”). I’m curious as to why he was dismissed. That he headed straight for Afghanistan makes me wonder if this is a sign of things to come as AQ gets squeezed out of Iraq.