Did you suspect that Abu Azzam, reportedly killed recently and said to be Zarqawi's #2 man, wasn't the first "top Zarqawi lieutenant" to be identified? In Newsweek, Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball round up evidence that you're right. The Isikoff/Hosenball story is link-free, but I've added links:
... For nearly two years now, U.S. officials have touted previous arrests or captures ... as developments that would cripple the insurgency.
In January 2004, for example, the U.S. military announced the arrest in Fallajuh of Husam al-Yemeni, who was described in press accounts out of Baghdad as the "right-hand man" of Zarqawi. In November 2004, Iraqi officials announced they had arrested in Mosul a man named Abu Saaed, who was described by the Iraqi national-security adviser as Zarqawi's "alleged lieutenant."
IRAQIS NAB TOP ZARQAWI AIDE read the headline on the Fox News Web site on Jan. 24, 2005, touting the arrest of yet another man, Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, also known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi. The Associated Press story reporting al-Jaaf's detention quoted a U.S. military statement describing him as the "most lethal" of Zarqawi's lieutenants, noting that he had been linked to the August 2003 bombing of United Nations headquarters in Baghdad....
As Isikoff and Hosenball note, if someone really can be called Zarqawi's #2, the most likely candidate is a man known as Abu Abdelrahman al-Iraqi. Here's a post on that subject by Evan Kohlmann at Counterterrorism Blog; Kohlmann's one of Isikoff and Hosenball's sources. Abu Abdelrahman al-Iraqi is just fine, thanks.
(Story via Memeorandum.)