An Internet jihadist who traveled to Pakistan’s tribal areas to fight with al Qaeda-linked terror groups is thought to have been killed in a US Predator airstrike. Also, a prominent member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is reported to have wounded in another Predator strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
A jihadist forum member recently posted that Hafeed Salahuddin was killed along with “a small group of his colleagues” in the Waziristan region of Pakistan, according to the message that was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. Although the message is not an official martyrdom statement released by a terrorist group, jihadists often use the al Qaeda-linked forums to announce the deaths of lesser-known members of the terror groups.
“With content hearts we received the news of the martyrdom of our brother Hafeed Salahuddin, the well-known writer in the jihadi forums, and a small group of his colleagues, in an American airstrike over Waziristan,” the statement said.
SITE reported that in May, a jihadist named Muhib Hafeed Salahuddin “posted a message from ‘Sheikh Hafeed Salahuddin’ reacting to the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and warning US President Barack Obama that the ‘next
round’ in the conflict will be more complex and deadly.”
The statement announcing Salahuddin’s death did not say when or where he was killed, nor did it state the name of the terror group he fought with. The US has carried out 47 Predator airstrikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas this year; all but two have taken place in the tribal agencies of North and South Waziristan.
Jihadists who enter Pakistan’s tribal agencies from outside of southern Asia often fight with groups such as al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Islamic Jihad Group, or smaller, lesser known outfits such as the Taifatul Mansura (“Victorious Sect”).
German Internet jihadist reported wounded in Predator strike
Abu Adam (AKA Mounir Chouka), a German citizen who fights with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Photo from the SITE Intelligence Group.
In another unconfirmed report, a well-known German Internet jihadist is said to have been wounded in a US Predator strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
“A source affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan had previously announced that Abu Adam from Jundullah Media was seriously injured,” according to a statement by Gazavat Media, a website that caters to Turkish jihadists. The statement was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
“According to the unconfirmed report, Abu Adam may have been wounded in a drone strike,” the statement continued. “The source that spoke to Gazavat Media said that drone (unmanned plane) strikes had increased very much recently. In another drone strike carried out in the past weeks, the movement had lost an important commander.”
The report did not indicate when or where Abu Adam was wounded.
Abu Adam is the nom de guerre of Mounir Chouka, a German citizen who fights with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Pakistan and is a senior member of Jundallah Media, the IMU’s media production arm. Abu Adam and his brother, Abu Ibrahim (Yassin Chouka), are prolific posters on the jihadist forums. In January, Abu Adam announced the death of senior IMU and al Qaeda leader Bekkay Harrach. Abu Adam also provided voice-overs in a tape released in January that praised slain IMU terrorists from across the globe. In February, Abu Ibrahim released a report that described his travels from Europe to Pakistan, which included a stop in Yemen and several meetings with Anwar al Awlaki, the wanted American-born terrorist who serves as a senior ideologue and operational commander for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is an al Qaeda-affiliated group whose leadership cadre is based primarily in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan. The terror group operates mainly along the Afghan-Pakistani border and in northern Afghanistan. According to one estimate, more than 3,000 Uzbeks, Central Asian, and other foreign fighters belonging to the IMU are sheltering in North Waziristan.
Internet jihadists travel to Pakistan and Afghanistan to fight
Several active members of the jihadist forums are known to have been killed in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater. The most infamous, Abu Dujanah al Khurasani, a longtime Internet jihadist whose real name is Humam Khalil Muhammed Abu Mulal al Balawi, carried out the Dec. 30, 2009 suicide attack at Combat Outpost Chapman in Khost province that killed seven CIA officials and contractors, and a Jordanian intelligence officer. Khurasani was recruited by Jordanian intelligence to provide targeting information for the US’s covert air campaign against al Qaeda’s leaders and operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Khurasani had enticed the CIA with promises of being able to produce Ayman al Zawahiri, then al Qaeda’s second in command and now the group’s emir; once Khurasani was granted access to the base, he detonated a suicide vest.
More recently, in June, jihadists announced the death of Mahmoud Hamdan Nizal, a Jordanian al Qaeda operative who was known as Abu Dher al Urduni. Nizal was killed during US air and artillery strikes in the Bermel district of Paktika province. He was described as “a frequent visitor” of jihadist web forums.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.