Al-Qaida chief killed in Pakistan by unmanned aerial drone

Killed al-Qaida chief i

By
September 17, 2009 16:57
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For a symbolic $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Don't show it again

An al-Qaida operations chief and an Uzbek militant commander were believed to be killed in US missile strikes in northwest Pakistan earlier this month, Pakistani officials said Thursday. If confirmed, the deaths of Ilyas Kashmiri and Nazimuddin, alias Yahyo, indicate America's policy of using missiles launched from unmanned drones to attack targets on Pakistan's side of the Afghan border is working. The tactic has been publicly criticized by the Pakistani government, but many believe officials here secretly endorse it. Operations chief Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani national, was believed killed in a September 7 attack on a compound in North Waziristan, said an intelligence officer and a senior government official. A strike in the same region on September 14 that destroyed a vehicle is believed to have killed Nazimuddin, the officials said. The US considered Kashmiri to be of al-Qaida's most dangerous commanders, and he was recently listed as the fourth most wanted terrorist by Pakistan's Interior Ministry. North Waziristan is part of Pakistan's tribal belt, a lawless region where al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri are rumored to be hiding. The Pakistani officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media about the topic. They said the information came from intercepted communications between militants and from informers in their ranks. Speaking last week, a US counterterrorism official said Kashmiri was in charge of al-Qaida's paramilitary operations in Pakistan and had also been active in recruiting and training operatives to conduct attacks outside of Pakistan. He also said Kashmiri had been a member of the militant group Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami, which he joined in the early 1990s after fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. The US official also requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. The Pakistani officials said Kashmiri was also accused of playing role in failed assassination attempts against former President Pervez Musharraf. Little is know about Nazimuddin, but a man bearing the same name and alias appears on a US Treasury list of individuals - most of whom are alleged Islamist terrorists - whose assets are blocked. The United States has fired more than 50 missiles from unmanned drones into the tribal regions since last year in a campaign targeting al-Qaida and Taliban commanders. Among the several top al-Qaida militants killed in the strikes are Abu Khabab al-Masri, an explosives expert responsible for its chemical and biological weapons efforts, and Usama al-Kini, believed to have planned the attack on Islamabad's Marriott Hotel. Just last month, one of the strikes killed Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Meshud. Pakistan protests the US missile strikes as violations of its sovereignty and says they fan support for the insurgents, but Washington has shown no sign of abandoning a tactic it says is disrupting militant operations. Separately, Pakistan's military said it had killed 10 insurgents and arrested a militant commander accused of beheading troops in the northwestern Swat Valley, notching up more successes in its offensive there. Sher Muhammad Qasab was captured this week at an undisclosed location in the valley, army spokesman Col. Akhtar Abbas said. Abbas said Qasab, who had a bounty of 10 million rupees ($121,000) on his head, had beheaded many troops in Swat when the Taliban was in control. The 10 militants were killed by security forces Thursday as they tried to sneak into the region's main city of Mingora, Abbas said. The four-month old Swat offensive has been praised by the US, which wants to see Pakistan fighting militants in its rugged northwest who are charged with plotting and carrying out attacks on US and NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan. Jpost.com staff contributed to this report


Related Content

Ringo Starr performs in Tel Aviv with Steve Lukather (left) and Graham Gouldman.
June 25, 2018
Transcendent it wasn't. But was it fun? Oh boy.

By JPOST.COM STAFF