PZN: More on Zarqawi's death

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Length: 3:15

PAULA ZAHN: More now on the connection between al-Qaeda and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from correspondent Michael Ware, who has been covering the war in Iraq from the start as "TIME" magazine's bureau chief. He joins us now, because he's one of our guys from there. So, Michael, you have tracked very closely the movements of Zarqawi over the last couple years you have been in Iraq. What do you think is going to become of the insurgency now?

MICHAEL WARE, BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF, "TIME": Well, there is going to be an evolution, clearly. This is a watershed of some degree, firstly, within his organization. We have seen more and more Iraqis taking leadership roles within Zarqawi's al-Qaeda in Iraq. That's sure to have a change. We will now see if they step up and assert their authority, or if another foreigner is appointed to the leadership. But I have to say, these Iraqis, once they're touched by Zarqawi's breed of terrorism, there is no coming back. I mean, I have been to a Zarqawi camp. I have looked in the eyes of these men. I have been with them as I have seen these men change from nationalist fighters to committed holy warriors. And I have spoken to Baathist commanders who deal with them who say, you can't talk to these men. It is as though they're from another planet. So, this is the legacy Zarqawi leaves behind in his organization. We will now see how it changes. We will also see, I think, within the insurgency the former Baath Party and the former military from Saddam's army, who are responsible for the majority of attacks on U.S. forces also take this ground that Zarqawi has left. There has been a lot of conflict between them. And I think that's what led to his betrayal, that led to his death in this safe house. So, I think one of the first beneficiaries will, strangely, be the Baath.

ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit about the relationship with al-Qaeda from here on in. Zarqawi was always perceived as a lightning rod among al-Qaeda members and other jihadists. So, what is going to change?

WARE: Well, this is also very important in terms of this enormous debate that is taking place within al-Qaeda and within the broader jihad community. Zarqawi very much has been the vanguard of a new generation of al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden, September 11 was meant to inspire and to get others to follow. Well, Zarqawi listened to that. Before Iraq, he was a marginal player. Iraq is the platform that made him. Now, that forced Osama bin Laden to a decision point. Zarqawi becomes such a superstar within the jihad, they either had to take him on or embrace him. So, they brought him in, in October 2004. But, really, I believe Zarqawi had grander designs. Now on the -- on the board of directors, I think he wanted to be chairman. What now happens to this more brutal, more hard-line generation that he has inspired? Are they brought into the fold, or do they continue on his path?

ZAHN: It's one of the frightening questions that we all have to think about. Michael Ware, thanks so much. Appreciate your reporting tonight.