Eight Germans who were killed in a US Predator airstrike on Oct. 4 near the Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold of Mir Ali in North Waziristan have been identified.
Pakistani officials and local tribesmen said the eight Germans “were holding a crucial meeting” at a compound in the town of Mosaki just outside the town of Mir Ali, The Express Tribune reported. The strike occurred near the Masjid Bilal. Early reports indicated that the strike took place at the mosque.
The eight Germans were members of the Islamic Jihad Group (or Islamic Jihad Union), an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The Islamic Jihad Group is based out of the Mir Ali region and is closely allied with al Qaeda.
Among those killed were three senior members of the IJU: Brusely, also known as Fayyaz, who served as the operations chief for the Islamic Jihad Group; Gagreen Gill, also known as Siraj, who was in charge of finances; and Milton Smith, also known as Jamal, who was described as an “expert bomb maker.”
The other Germans killed were Wash (Mustafa), Johnson (Wasal), Anderson (Waqas), Paterson (Shaheen), and Peterson Mckenzie (Usman). Both Wash and Johnson were both Germans and Saudi passport holders.
The eight Germans were targeted based on intelligence obtained from Rami Mackenzie, a German who was detained in June in the Pakistani district of Bannu, which borders North Waziristan. Mackenzie, who is said to be an expert at manufacturing suicide bombs, was wearing a burka when he was captured along with his family by Pakistani police.
The eight Germans are the latest Europeans killed in US strikes in North Waziristan since the discovery of an al Qaeda plot that targeted several major European cities and was modeled after the terror assault on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008.
On Sept. 8, eight other Germans and two Britons were reported killed in a Predator strike in the al Qaeda stronghold of Datta Khel. An Islamic Jihad Group commander known as Qureshi was also reported killed in the attack. Qureshi specialized in training Germans to conduct attacks in their home country. Two of the Germans were identified as Abu Askar, and Imran Almani. The Briton, who was identified as Abdul Jabbar, had been appointed the leader of the Islamic Army of Great Britain and was tasked with carrying out terror assaults in Britain, France, and Germany, using assault rifles and suicide vests.
German and Turkish Muslims make up a significant portion of the Islamic Jihad Group. Its fighters are often referred to as German Taliban, and they carry out attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year, the Islamic Jihad Group released video of ‘German Taliban villages’ in Waziristan. Its fighters were seen training at camps and conducting military operations.