2 al Qaeda leaders reported killed in Mir Ali drone strike


Two al Qaeda commanders are reported to have been killed in Monday's drone strike in the Mir Ali area of Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan. The report of the al Qaeda commanders' deaths has not been confirmed.

Abu Kasha al Iraqi, an al Qaeda leader who serves as a key link to the Taliban and supports al Qaeda's external operations network, and Fateh al Turki, a previously unidentified leader, are said to have been killed in the Sept. 24 airstrike in the Mir Ali area, Pakistani intelligence officials, Taliban commanders, and local tribesmen told Dawn. Between five and six people were reportedly killed in the drone strike on a compound.

Abu Kasha and Fateh are said to have been buried in the Mosaki area of North Waziristan, according to Dawn.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said they are aware of the reports of the deaths of the two al Qaeda leaders but cannot confirm that the terrorists were killed in the strike.

Intelligence officials would neither confirm nor deny that Abu Kasha and Fateh were the targets of the strike, but one official said that Abu Kasha "has been on our list for quite some time."

The US has targeted Abu Kasha and his network several times since the drone campaign in Pakistan's tribal areas was ramped up in the summer of 2008. Abu Kasha was rumored to have been killed in an attack in North Waziristan in October 2008, but Taliban fighters said he survived the strike and "is healthy and very much in his routine."

Abu Kasha, an Iraqi national also known as Abu Akash, entered North Waziristan sometime in 2001 and established a network in the Mir Ali area. He has close links to the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and other Pakistani Taliban groups, a senior US intelligence official told The Long War Journal in January 2007. He serves as the key link between al Qaeda's Shura Majlis, or executive council, and the Taliban.

His responsibilities have expanded to include helping to facilitate al Qaeda's external operations against the West, a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal in October 2008.

Abu Kasha commands two Pakistanis, Imanullah and Haq Nawaz Dawar, who administer al Qaeda's network in Mir Ali. Abu Kasha also has a working relationship and close communication with the Uzbek terror groups, including the Islamic Jihad Group (or the Islamic Jihad Union) run by Najimuddin al Uzbeki, who also operates out of North Waziristan.



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READER COMMENTS: "2 al Qaeda leaders reported killed in Mir Ali drone strike"

Posted by Devendra at September 25, 2012 11:47 AM ET:

TWO MORE MAGGOTTS DOWN.
GO DRONES!!!

Posted by ali erfani at September 25, 2012 12:21 PM ET:

how can we judge the upcomming response of the groups of these terrorists...to make sure that their commanders are killed really.they will sure take revenge.i had heard the voice of abu kasha on sattelite phone 1 year ago...

Posted by jayc at September 25, 2012 2:17 PM ET:

@ali erfani

Ali,

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

We can never allow fear to predicate what we do as a people or nation(s). If Abu Kasha's demise is indeed true, then it is far better him dead than alive. We can deal with his subordinates next.

Posted by mike merlo at September 25, 2012 2:35 PM ET:

Excellent info. Am awaiting nationality/profile on Fateh al Turki. I'm assuming al Turki is a 'given name' as opposed to a 'surname.'

Posted by Paul D at September 25, 2012 3:00 PM ET:

Pakistan army say there are no terrorist groups in North Waziristan

Posted by sundoesntrise at September 27, 2012 2:44 AM ET:

ali erfani,

You said

"they will sure take revenge.i had heard the voice of abu kasha on sattelite phone 1 year ago..."

Can you please explain that in more detail? Sounds interesting.

Posted by Erik J. at October 1, 2012 12:28 PM ET:

I am thrilled that the Prez has accomplished this. His quiet way of getting things done is a comfort to us all. Now if only Congress could stop the petulance and do what their job is.

The one thing that makes this so much better is that we've moved on. So unfortunately for the Prez these things come as an afterthought. That makes it better though than the wounded mindset of the early 2000's.