Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Two Al-Qaeda Leaders Reported Killed in North Waziristan Strike

Via The Long War Journal -

Two senior al Qaeda commanders are thought to have been killed in the most recent airstrike in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Ilyas Kashmiri and Nazimuddin Khilalof are said to have been killed during the Sept. 14 airstrike in the village of Turikhel near the town of Mir Ali in Taliban-controlled North Waziristan, according to a report in Geo News. The report has not been confirmed, and US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal would not comment on the status of Kashmiri and Nazimuddin.

Ilyas Kashmiri is considered by US intelligence to be one of al Qaeda's most dangerous commanders. He is the operational chief of the Harkat-ul Jihad Islami (HuJI), an al Qaeda-linked terror group that operates in Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Kashmiri was recently listed as the fourth most wanted terrorist by Pakistan's Interior Ministry.

Kashmiri is thought to have played a major role in the multi-pronged suicide attack against government and security installations in the eastern Afghan province of Khost in May, the military intelligence official said.

Last year, Kashmiri reportedly drafted a plan to assassinate General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, Pakistan's top military officer, but the plan was canceled by al Qaeda's senior leadership, according to a report in the Asia Times.

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