Monday, December 21, 2009

Bin Laden's Brother-in-law Target of Latest US Strike in Pakistan

Via The Long War Journal -

The US targeted a senior al Qaeda leader and brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden during Thursday's swarm attack in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan.

The US believed Sheikh Saeed al Saudi was scheduled to attend a high-level al Qaeda meeting in the Datta Khel region in North Waziristan, The News reported.

The nature of the strike indicates the US was targeting a high-value target. Up to seven unmanned US Predator and Reaper strike aircraft converged on the target and launched up to 10 missiles. Sixteen al Qaeda and Haqqani network fighters were reported killed in the attack.

Sheikh Saeed al Saudi is married to bin Laden's sister and serves on al Qaeda's Shura Majlis, or executive council, a senior US intelligence official told The Long War Journal. The official also confirmed that al Saudi was the target of the attack. Al Saudi also is involved in al Qaeda's "financial activities," the official said.

Al Saudi is thought to have survived the strike, but the US believes it killed Zuhaib al Zahibi, a general officer in al Qaeda's Shadow Army, or the Lashkar al Zil. The Taliban have denied that senior al Qaeda leaders were killed in the strike.

The Datta Khel region in South Waziristan borders the Jani Khel region in the settled district of Bannu.

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