Graphic from Fox News.com

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi is Dead. Dead as a doorknob. The Prince of Al Qaeda is dead. Death becomes him.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader who led a brutal insurgency that included homicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings, was killed in an airstrike on a building north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials announced Thursday.

Officials said the terror leader’s identity was confirmed by fingerprints, facial recognition, and known scars.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said Al-Zarqawi was killed along with seven aides Wednesday evening at around 6:15 p.m. local time in a bombing raid on a building in a remote area 30 miles northeast of Baghdad in Diyala province.

Loud applause broke out as Al-Maliki, flanked by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, made the announcement at a news conference in Baghdad Thursday that al-Zarqawi was “terminated.”

In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the death of Al-Zarqawi “a strike against Al Qaeda in Iraq and a strike against Al Qaeda,” but added that there were no illusions that the insurgency in Iraq would immediately crumble.

President Bush was expected to address Al-Zarqawi’s death in the Rose Garden around 7:30 a.m. EDT.

Waking up to news like this is tremendous. May our troops take heart from this news and may the death of this monster wake up the American people to the need to defeat all the monstrous terrorists within and without our land and especially in Iraq.

My son called me just a few moments after I learned about Zarqawi’s death. He is training at Fort McCoy for his deployment to Iraq and at the time didn’t have internet access and wanted to know the details. He told me that another soldier in his unit had learned the news from his cellphone. Our son said the troops were tremendously excited.

Even more good news ……Al-Maliki announced two more additions to his cabinet today, one being the defense minister. Maliki promised to stop the sectarian violence recently. He now has big momentum. This may not be a tactical win in the war but it’s a big moral victory.

Loud applause broke out as Al-Maliki, flanked by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, made the announcement at a news conference in Baghdad Thursday that al-Zarqawi was “terminated.”

U.S. President George W. Bush said al-Zarqawi’s death “is a severe blow to Al Qaeda and it is a significant victory in the war on terror.”

“We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continuing patience of the American people,” he said in an address from the White House.

The one night I sleep all the way through I miss the news that Zarqawi is “terminated.” Terminated is a succinct way to put it. Seven of Zarqawi’s fellow terrorists were also killed. Think of the intelligence our forces are sifting through and discovering. Michelle was up early.

Iraqis and Jordanians played a role.

A Jordanian official said that Jordan also provided the U.S. military with information that helped in tracking al-Zarqawi down. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was addressing intelligence issues, would not elaborate, but Jordan is known to have intelligence agents operating in Iraq to hunt down Islamic militants.

Some of the information came from Jordan’s sources inside Iraq and led the U.S. military to the area of Baqouba, the official said.

Baqouba has in recent weeks seen a spike in sectarian violence, including the discovery of 17 severed heads in fruit boxes. It was also near the site of a sectarian atrocity last week in which masked gunmen killed 21 Shiites, including a dozen students, after separating out four Sunni Arabs.

“Those who disrupt the course of life, like al-Zarqawi, will have a tragic end,” Al-Maliki said. He also warned those who would follow the militant’s lead that “whenever there is a new al-Zarqawi, we will kill him.”

“This is a message for all those who embrace violence, killing and destruction to stop and to (retreat) before it’s too late,” he said. “It is an open battle with all those who incite sectarianism.”

Iraq the Model is rejoicing.

MilBlogs have the pictorial proof.

Welcome Instapundit readers. There is big time rejoicing here at Wide Awake Cafe.

Lorie Byrd asks this question……..Anyone want to bet how long it takes before we hear something about Zarqawi not being the one who planned 9/11, or a reminder that we have yet to capture or kill Osama?

It didn’t take long before Lorie got an answer to her question….but the left no longer even pretends to care about the War on Terror.

Wizbang has more.

The Anchoress has a post full of insight.

The prescient Sissy Willis wrote about Mujahideen blood sport just yesterday.

Welcome Hugh Hewitt visitors.

Also blogging about the demise of Zarqawi with much panache: Villainous Company

Benning’s take will put a smile on every viewer’s face.

Hot Air has the airstrike remix.

Jeannette at Hang Right Politics and Oh How I Love Jesus has beaucoup updates.

In Search of Utopia has an interesting take.

Sister Toldjah is rejoicing and has many interesting links.

Musing Minds has more information about the new Iraqi cabinet ministers.

Blue Crab Boulevard has links to the video of the strike that killed Zarqawi.

Blue Star Chronicles has a link-fest going. This day is going down as a big day in history. Osama is next.

Merri Musings has more on the military news conference in Baghdad.

Basil has a question.

Hugh Hewitt writes that a good day got even better.

UPDATE: It gets even better. The sweep’s not over. Counterterrorism Blog has the scoop.