Mawlana Salimullah Khan was also the president of Pakistan’s largest confederation of Deobani seminaries and schools. His son and grandson were deported from the United States for immigration violations after the FBI linked them to an al Qaeda plot in California.
The US military “remains committed to defeating AQAP and denying it safe havens in Yemen.” AQAP remains entrenched in southern and central Yemen despite the active targeting of the group and its leaders by the US for eight years.
US Africa Command continues to describe airstrikes launched during offensive operations against al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia as “self-defense strikes.”
The Taliban has good reason to deny involvement in this attack, as it has used the UAE to fundraise and gather support for jihadists based in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
General Abdul Raziq, the chief of police for Kandahar who has battled the Taliban for years and has been the target of numerous assassination attempts, is pushing the idea of a “safe zone” for the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In its statement claiming credit for today’s attack, the Taliban said that “both of the attackers were from the Martyr Battalion of Islamic Emirate.” The Taliban has deliberately targeted first responders in the past.
Mahmud Al Isawi was killed as the US-led coalition has stepped up its efforts to help drive the Islamic State from its Syrian capital. The Pentagon said that 16 “significant members” of the organization’s external operations network have been killed in 2016.
The US military has targeted senior and mid-level Islamic State leaders, external operations planners, and military commanders while also striking the group’s military and civilian infrastructure throughout Iraq and Syria in an effort to deny it territory and deal it a “lasting defeat.”