Hezbollah fighter killed in North Waziristan Predator strike?

I have not been able to confirm this report from the German Press Agency (DPA) of the death of a Hezbollah fighter in the June 19 airstrike in North Waziristan. The article also appeared on the official website of the Lebanese Forces political party (and not the Lebanese Armed Forces official website as originally stated):

Lebanese citizen Mohammad Ali Hamadeh has been killed in Saturday’s US drone attack on al Qaeda hideout in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, the German news agency DPA reported.

Citing intelligence sources in Pakistan, DPA said Hamadeh, a Hezbollah member, was killed along with a group of followers.

DPA has it that Hamadeh returned to Lebanon in December 2005 after being secretly released in Germany, where he was serving a life sentence for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and killing of a US navy diver.

It had said Hamadeh had been released from a German prison in 2005 on bail after spending nearly 19 years in prison.

DPA, citing intelligence information, said Hamadeh fought along Hezbollah before moving to North Waziristan where he joined “Islamic Jihad” which has links to al Qaeda.

The report is interesting as it indicates that Hamadeh had indeed joined the Islamic Jihad Group, which was targeted in the June 19 attack. Among the 16 terrorists reported to have been killed in the attack were an al Qaeda leader named Abu Ahmed and 12 members of the Islamic Jihad Group.

This wouldn’t be the first case of a terrorist from a Middle Eastern group that had been involved in a hijacking and murder spree in the 1980s being killed in Pakistan’s tribal areas. On January 9, 2010, Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim, an Abu Nidal Organization operative who participated in killing 22 hostages during the 1986 hijacking of Pan Am flight 73, was killed in a strike in North Waziristan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Ibn Siqilli says:

    The web site is of the Lebanese Forces, a Maronite political party (one of the many sectarian parties in the country) and a bitter rival to Hizbullah, not the country’s official armed forces.

  • Tyler says:

    Profound if true.
    Alas, I’m wondering if, like the reported deaths in Pakistan drone strikes of Abu Nidal’s Jamal Rahim or Abu Sayyaf’s Abdul Basit…these are cases of enterprising individuals within Pakistan conjuring up successes without besmirching genuine Al Qaeda and Taliban higher-ups who might not take it too kindly.
    There’s a combined $11 million reward for Rahim, Basit, and Hamadi. All three appear on the State Department’s most wanted lists which are advertised heavily throughout Pakistan.
    And if I’m not mistaken, all three reports were only verified by anonymous Pakistani intel/tribal sources.
    So, hang on. Keep your eyes open.

  • When viewed within the larger context of an “Islamic Caliphate” (a united Muslim world stretching from North Africa to Indonesia) the various fundamentalist uprisings will increasingly include a mix of foreign fighters. The problem is with analysts and strategists interpreting the various jihadi movements (i.e. Caucasus, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, southern Thailand, etc.) as “national or regional” Islamic rebellions — rather than as compartmentalized “theaters of operations” within a much bigger picture (caliphate). The fact that a Filipino fighter, Abdul Basit Usman, was killed last January during a U.S. drone strike along the Af-Pak border is evidence that sharing personnel (as well as intel, techniques, training and military strategy) among the various groups is becoming increasingly commonplace.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Ibn, I noted the correction in the entry, thanks for the heads up. My mistake.
    Steve, I don’t disagree, except that Usman’s death has not been confirmed (in fact the Philippine government said he is alive).

  • Tom says:

    Info about any Hezbollah operative fighting in AfPak seems very strange for me. As we all know, Hezbollah is a pro-Iranian Shia party in Lebanon; so what the Shia’s fighter(s) has(ve) been doing in Afpak- the sunni (wahhabi) AlQaeda theater of operations ?! Is it a proof of AQ cooperation (at least on some low-level) with the Shia terrorist groups (and perhaps maybe with Iran itself)?


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