Did Al-Qaeda Kill Bhutto?

…And can Adnkronos be trusted?

ABC News is reporting that Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for the assassination of Banazir Bhutto:

An obscure Italian Web site said Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, al Qaeda’s commander in Afghanistan, told its reporter in a phone call, “We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahedeen.”

The website where the story was posted was not named by ABC News. We’ll name it for you: It’s Adnkronos International. The full story, as reported by a Karachi-based journo by the name of Syed Saleem Shahzad, can be found here.

Shahzad reports that:

It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda No. 2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.

Death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and ultimately one cell comprising a defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s Punjabi volunteer succeeded in killing Bhutto.

So what’s going on here? Can we give Adnkronos & Shahzad’s report any credence? It appears that Shahzad is a regular writer for the internet-only Asia Times Online and has previously written for Le Monde Diplomatique.

As for Adnkronos, well, you judge for yourself. The site’s line is that they were “created in 2003 as a media service dedicated to information exchange, research and dialogue between Italy, Europe and the emerging areas of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Produced in Arabic, English and Italian, the daily news services of AKI cover and analyse issues and events in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.”

Have any of our readers working in non-stateside news had experience with Adnkronos? Know anything about them? Let us know.

As for other suspects, they’re rounded up at the Times of London.

(Image via Gettyimages)