Today, The News, one of Pakistan’s largest newspapers, published this report by Amir Mir on Sanafi al Nasr noting the death of six al Qaeda operatives. An excerpt of the article, titled “Six top al-Qaeda leaders droned in Waziristan,” is below:
The al-Qaeda has confirmed that the recent US drone strikes had killed six of its leaders in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, which used to be administered by Hafiz Gul Bahadur — once considered to be a “good Taliban” by the Pakistani establishment.
These six al-Qaeda leaders were killed in the July 10 drone strike that took place in the Doga Mada Khel village in North Waziristan Agency’s Datta Khel area — a well-known hub of al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network, Tehrik-e-Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Zil.
Some of the top al-Qaeda leaders killed in drone strikes in Datta Khel also included Mustafa Abu Yazid, the chief operational commander of al-Qaeda and a close aide of Osama bin Laden, who had claimed responsibility for the 2007 murder of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi.
Others killed in the July 10 drone strike could not be identified at that time because their bodies were immediately removed from the scene. However, 10 days later, Sanafi al Nasr, the head of al Qaeda’s “Victory Committee”, who is based in Syria and has close ties with al-Qaeda’s general command in Pakistan, has stated that six of his “dearest comrades” were killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan.
Nasr, a Saudi national whose real name is Abdul Mohsin Abdullah Ibrahim Al Sharikh, being the leader of the “Victory Committee”, is responsible for developing and implementing al-Qaeda’s strategy and policies.
If that sounds familiar, it is because The Long War Journal first reported on Sanafi al Nasr’s tweets about the six al Qaeda operatives on July 20.
Amir Mir has copied from The Long War Journal. For example, consider our description of Sanafi al Nasr: “As the leader of the Victory Committee, Nasr is responsible for developing and implementing al Qaeda’s strategy and policies.”
Now here is Mir’s description [emphasis added]: “Nasr, a Saudi national whose real name is Abdul Mohsin Abdullah Ibrahim Al Sharikh, being the leader of the ‘Victory Committee’, is responsible for developing and implementing al-Qaeda’s strategy and policies.”
Our description of Nasr is not based on open sources, or on anything al Qaeda has reported. Nasr’s responsibilities were described to us by US intelligence officials who track al Qaeda closely. In other words, there is no other place Mir could have gotten this information, let alone the exact wording we used, other than from The Long War Journal.
This isn’t the first time we have detected Mir doing this. For instance, on April 25, 2013, Mir published a report at The News on Abdullah Adam, al Qaeda’s intelligence chief, who was killed in a US drone strike. His report was printed one day after LWJ published an account that noted the reports of Adam’s death and also provided a full background on the leader. Amir Mir merely rewrote large sections of LWJ’s report and used it as his own, without citations.
And, on Jan. 4, 2013, after the US killed Mullah Nazir in a drone strike, Amir Mir also lifted large sections of LWJ reporting on Nazir and Pakistan’s views of the “good Taliban” vs. the” bad Taliban.” See this LWJ report from Jan. 3, 2013 to understand where Mir got his “inspiration.”
We know for a fact that Mir reads LWJ. For instance, in this piece about the supposed split within the Pakistani Taliban that was published on Dec. 9, 2012, Mir cites and quotes LWJ four times. We encourage him to credit LWJ reporting in the future instead of using it as his own.
Dawn, which originally cited The News as the source of its article on the report of the six al Qaeda leaders who were killed, has now credited LWJ as the source of its report. You can read Dawn‘s article here.