The US killed two al Qaeda commanders and a Turkish foreign fighter during a Predator airstrike in North Waziristan earlier this month, a jihadist group stated.
Sheikh Ihsanullah, an “Arab al Qaeda military commander”; Ibrahim, the commander of the Fursan-i-Mohammed Group; and a Turkish foreign fighter known as Harun were killed in the June 10 airstrike in the village of Norak in North Waziristan.
The deaths were confirmed in a statement released by the Taifatul Mansura Group, or the Victorious Sect, a transnational Turkish jihadist group that operates along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
The Taifatul Mansura Group has previously issued multiple statements from Pakistan’s tribal areas. Recently, the terror group announced the death of Eric Breininger, a German member of the Islamic Jihad Union who was killed while fighting Pakistani security forces during a clash near Mir Ali in North Waziristan on April 30, 2010.
The Taifatul Mansura Group confirmed the deaths of the three terrorists in a statement released on June 11 that was signed by Abu Yasir al Turki, the “Media Spokesman” and “Commander of Media Wing.” The statement was translated by Flashpoint Partners.
“Late last night, a spy drone attacked a target in Waziristan,” Turki said. “Commander Ibrahim, who was staying inside a house, together with one Turkish mujahid and an al Qaeda military commander, Sheikh Ihsanullah, were killed. For security reasons, we are not able to publish the location and details. Pardon us ”
Three terrorists were reported to have been killed in the June 10 airstrike in Norak. The US hit a compound that was known to have been used by the Taliban.
The town of Norak is in the sphere of influence of the Haqqani Network, a Taliban group led by mujahedeen commander Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Siraj. The Haqqanis are closely allied to al Qaeda and to the Taliban, led by Mullah Omar. The Haqqanis are based on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border. Siraj Haqqani is the leader the Miramshah Regional Military Shura, one of the Taliban’s top four commands; he sits on the Taliban’s Quetta Shura; and he is also is a member of al Qaeda’s Shura Majlis.
The US military has pressured Pakistan to dismantle the Haqqani Network as it has carried out some of the more brazen and deadly attacks in Afghanistan while mounting a deadly terror insurgency in eastern Afghanistan. Most recently, the US has accused the Haqqani Network of staging the suicide assault at Bagram Air Base and a suicide attack against a NATO convoy in Kabul.
The Pakistani government has resisted US pressure, as the Haqqanis are supported by Pakistan’s military and intelligence services. Pakistan is currently seeking to use the Haqqani Network to open negotiations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.