Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,
Jordanian militant, was killed by U.S. troops in an air strike north of Baghdad in June. Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia and the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq, was blamed for fueling the insurgency and sectarian violence in Iraq. His group has claimed responsibility for many of the gruesome suicide bombings and beheadings that have contributed to the growing chaos in Iraq. His death was seen as a crucial triumph for Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose short tenure had been marked by increased violence and internal government squabbles.