BAGHDAD, Iraq – A U.S. military doctor said Monday that Al Qaeda terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died 52 minutes after an airstrike against his safe house northeast of Baghdad and that an autopsy showed his injuries were consistent with those caused by a bomb blast.
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said 140 military operation were carried out since Zarqawi's death and 32 insurgents were killed and 178 detained. He said 11 raids were directly connected to intelligence gleaned from Zarqawi's death.
"As far as the Al Qaeda network we are cautiously optimistic that we have been very successful thus far in the ongoing operations in last five days. We know this is not going to end the insurgency. it will take the people of Iraq to make that decision with their Iraqi security forces," Caldwell said.
He added that U.S. forces arrived about 28 minutes after the airstrike and treated Zarqawi, who was breathing with difficulty. Jones and a medical examiner who was not identified said that Zarqawi had "no evidence of beating or any firearm injuries."
He said the first bomb was dropped by an F-16 at 6:12 p.m. and that U.S. troops arrived at 6:40 p.m. but found Iraqi police at the site.
A U.S. military medic provided care at the scene and that "his carodic pulse was such that he was not going to live. It was very evident that he had extremely massive internal injuries," Caldwell said.
"At 7:04 p.m. on 7 June, Zarqawi was dead," Caldwell said.
He added that no decision made on remains on Zarqawi and his lieutenant.
"Right now we're still in discussions with the government of Iraq. They're still currently under coalition control," Caldwell said.
Caldwell said that two women and a young girl killed at the scene were turned over to Iraqi authorities as had the body of another man. None had been identified.
According to Caldwell, Zarqawi was not wearing an explosives vest. The Jordanian-born Al Qaeda leader often claimed he wore one to prevent capture by American troops.
"He was wearing some black outfit. There is nothing that said he was wearing a suicide belt on," Caldwell said.
He added that a timeline of events he had promised was not yet ready but would be in the next few days.
Because of the confusion over the sequence of events following the bombing, the military has promised to release a chronology.
At least one U.S. officer said American troops responded quickly, while a senior Iraqi official said Sunday that they may have arrived as much as an hour after the attack.
"After the national Iraqi police arrived to the scene and got the injured, got the dead sorted out. In an hour or so, I think, coalition forces have arrived to the scene also to help in the logistics of the operation afterward," Iraqi National Security adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie said in a television interview.
Al-Rubaie said troops combing though the debris found Zarqawi's diaries, telephone numbers, computers and a database in one computer.
Caldwell, the U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, has said that troops discovered a "treasure trove" and that 56 raids had been carried out since Zarqawi was killed.
Meanwhile, Al Qaeda in Iraq warned Sunday that it is still powerful and will carry out "major attacks," leading Iraqi and American officials to announce plans for a new security crackdown in Baghdad.
Its Internet statement did not name a successor to Zarqawi, but said the group's leadership "renews its allegiance" to Usama bin Laden.
Bin Laden "will see things that will bring joy to his heart," it said, vowing "to prepare major attacks that will shake the enemy like an earthquake and rattle them out of sleep."
Iraq's new Sunni Arab defense minister, Abdul-Qader Mohammed Jassim al-Mifarji, said a security plan would be put in place around the capital to deal with a possible surge in terror attacks.
Casey said he expected Al Qaeda "to try to do what they said."
"I think what you're going to see is an enhanced security operation here announced by the prime minister in Baghdad over the course of the coming week and a tightening of security in the Baghdad area," Casey told FOX News.
He said security forces would be prepared. "But again," he added, "you can't stop terrorist attacks completely."