Al-Quds al-Arabi and al-Masry al-Youm are reporting today that Abu Ayoub al-Masri, the man named by the United States as the new leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and for whom the US recently announced a $5 million bounty, has actually been in an Egyptian prison for the last seven years. According to Mamdouh Ismail, a lawyer for the Gamaa Islamiya, Sharif Hazaa (which he thinks is the real name of the man believed to be Abu Ayoub al-Masri) has been in the Tarah prison south of Cairo the whole time. Ismail claims to have seen him there just two days ago while he was visiting other prisoners. For what it's worth, bin Laden named Abu Hamza al-Muhajir as the
successor to Zarqawi in his July 1 tape - the issue isn't the Muhajir part, it's whether Abu Ayoub al-Masri is Muhajir. Analysts have been arguing about al-Muhajir's identity since his name first surfaced, and the prominent Egyptian Islamist lawyer and analyst Montasser Zayat had previously cast doubt that al-Masri could be the person in question (he thought that the picture released of al-Masri was an Upper Egyptian named Yusuf al-Dariri). Al-Masry al-Youm interprets this as evidence of the weakness of American intelligence in Iraq; neither the Americans nor the Egyptians had any comment. I'm not sure how much it matters, or who's right, but I thought this was an interesting story worth passing on.
(Note - slightly updated, added link to the al-Masry al-Youm story, the al-Hayat story, and the CNN story.) (Another update: English al-Jazeera version of the story here)