On Saturday, Pakistani intelligence sources said that senior al-Qaida leader Ilyas Kashmiri died along with eight other militants in an attack on a location in South Waziristan.
Kashmiri's own militant group, Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, or HUJI, confirmed his death in a fax to news organizations, saying Kashmiri was "martyred" Friday.
The United States had designated Kashmiri a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" and offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
Intelligence officials regarded Kashmiri as one of the most dangerous and highly trained terrorist operatives. Pakistani officials suspected him of masterminding last month's attack on a naval base in Karachi, in which a handful of militants held off Pakistani forces for about 17 hours.
Officials have also tied Kashmiri to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people. The U.S. blames Kashmiri's group for the March 2006 bombing of the U.S. consulate in Karachi that killed four people and wounded 48 others. A U.S. grand jury indicted Kashmiri in 2010 in connection with a plot to attack a Danish newspaper.
FYI, the Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) designation has been superseded by the similar Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, published by the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Muhammad/Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri is listed in the full OFC SDN list on page 233, near the bottom of the first column.
LWJ: Top al Qaeda Leader Ilyas Kashmiri Killed in US Predator Strike
Kashmiri is said to be one of nine members of the al Qaeda-linked Harkat-ul Jihad Islami, or HUJI, who were killed in yesterday's Predator airstrike that leveled a compound in the Wana area of South Waziristan.Strike two: Ilyas Kashmiri dead – again
“The strike took place in the Karikot area on the outskirts of Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, before midnight on Friday,” local sources said. “Some ‘guests’ were sitting in an apple orchard when a loud explosion took place.”Aftermath Footage of Ilas Kashmiri's Drone Attack Site
An intelligence official in Peshawar endorsed this version.
“Kashmiri was having tea with his men in the orchard when the strike took place. All nine militants, all of them from Punjab, were killed in the attack,” he told The Express Tribune.
Kashmiri and other militants were meeting an Afghan Taliban who worked in liaison with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) when the drone missile struck, he added.