‘Good’ Pakistani Taliban commander killed in US Predator strike

US Predators killed a deputy of Mullah Nazir, who is considered to be a “good Taliban” commander by the Pakistani military, in an airstrike late last week.

The deputy, Haleem Ullah, was among three “militants” killed in the airstrike that targeted a vehicle parked in a compound in the village of Baghar in the Angor Adda area of South Waziristan, according to The Associated Press. The strike, which took place on Sept. 30, was carried out by the unmanned drones that are operated by the CIA.

This year the CIA has begun to target Nazir’s tribal areas, after focusing nearly exclusively in North Waziristan in 2010. Sixteen of the 18 strikes that have occurred in South Waziristan this year were conducted in areas under Nazir’s control (there have been 53 strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas so far in 2011). Last year, only two of the seven strikes took place in areas under Nazir’s influence (there were 117 strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas in 2010).

Pakistan’s military and intelligence services consider Nazir and his followers “good Taliban” as they do not openly seek the overthrow of the Pakistani state.

In the summer of 2009, the military signed a peace agreement with Nazir stipulating that he would not shelter al Qaeda or members of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which were based in the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan. A few months later, in October 2009, the Pakistani government launched a military operation against the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, but left Nazir’s areas untouched.

Despite the peace agreement, Nazir and his followers continue to shelter al Qaeda and other Taliban groups that do attack the Pakistani state. He also sends forces into Afghanistan to battle US, NATO, and Afghan forces.

Mullah Nazir has openly supported Taliban emir Mullah Omar and slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and wages jihad in Afghanistan. In an interview with the Asia Times, Nazir rejected claims that he opposed al Qaeda, and affirmed that he considered himself to be a member of the global terror organization.

“Al Qaeda and the Taliban are one and the same,” Nazir told The Asia Times earlier this year. “At an operational level we might have different strategies, but at the policy level we are one and the same…. This is wrong that I am anti-al Qaeda. I am part of al Qaeda.”

The CIA has killed several top al Qaeda leaders in Nazir’s territory, including Midhat Mursi al Sayyid Umar, the former head of al Qaeda’s weapons of mass destruction program, and four members of his staff; and Osama al Kini (Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam), al Qaeda’s operations chief in Pakistan, along with Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, one of al Kini’s senior aides, both of whom were wanted by the US for their involvement in the 1998 suicide attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The US also believes it killed Abu Zaid al Iraqi, al Qaeda’s top financier in Pakistan; and Abu Hazwa Jawfi, the former leader of Pakistani Jundallah. In addition, Ilyas Kashmiri, the leader of al Qaeda’s Lashkar-al-Zil, or Shadow Army, is reported to have been killed in a June 3 Predator strike in Nazir’s tribal areas. Kashmiri’s death has not been confirmed, however.

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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  • Soccer says:

    It seems commanders are dying left right and center in the jihadist realm.
    And yes, Bill, and everyone else who is wondering: Yes, at this point, they WILL refrain from putting out official statements on the deaths of top leaders. I spoke with the editor of theunjustmedia as well as AMEF forums, and they both confirmed to me that at this point in the game they are refusing “to put out statements about the martyrs, so as to keep American morale low.”
    5 important commanders have been killed in the past 2 weeks. Do you really think they’d be proud of that? Also, the fact that their “media” and “Internet” operatives are being killed means they are having a hard time using the Internet when it comes to preaching to western audiences.
    They are losing, and now they are making a run for it.

  • Mirage says:

    This has been a great couple of days for America and her allies!

  • foxmuldar says:

    Another scum bites the dust. After watching a video of another scum muslim that preaches hate in the same mosque that al-Alwalaki used to attend and preach his hatred of America, I’m more then thrilled to read about another of these scumbags being taken out to pasture.

  • mike Burk says:

    good taliban is like good cancer

  • Sashland says:

    Yes, it is good. Very good.

  • FedCop1 says:

    Good..? Yeah good and dead!

  • Devin Leonard says:

    The Taliban and Haqqauni boys have been getting their butts kicked lately, by the unsurpassed war machine of the USA. Al Qaeda too. Must really tick off Pakistan that all their buddies are getting killed but oh well…to bad, so sad:)

  • Al says:

    I was wondering how we manage to ID these guys from drones. Very narrow field of view.
    What kind of Humint do we employ to find these guys? Locals paid by us. CIA boots-on-the-ground? Local political informants/enemies?

  • Eddie D. says:

    A good Taliban?, well, actually that would be a dead Taliban, other than that, I would say a good Taliban, would be a misnomer.

  • Verner McCall says:

    What is Pakistans response?

  • Vienna,03-10-2011

  • emjay wilson says:

    There is a population of 3 million in the predominantly pashtun tribal area, The people who live there are proud and will fight those that kill their people.
    Best thing to do is stop killing them and send in a hundred thousand tourists to spend money every month.
    This will save a lot of tax payers money.

  • Mr T says:

    Emjay said “The people who live there are proud and will fight those that kill their people.”
    Hmm, sounds like New Yorkers.

  • Soccer says:

    The thing about Pashtuns is that they willingly violate international law when they host terrorists, terrorists who behead people, kill other tribesmen, bomb schools, hospitals, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.
    I get angry when I hear about Pashtuns complaining about people killing and bombing them. They have to realize that they themselves are responsible for innocent people in Pakistan and the rest of the world being MURDERED by the same terrorist scum they support, all in the name of Pashtunwali!!!
    If Pashtuns dropped the act of being hospitable to internationally known terrorists, if they stopped holding rallies supporting murderers, if they stopped using “Jihad” and “The Ummah” as a means to get back at people they perceive to be their enemies, maybe people would leave them alone.
    Pashtun tribesmen and the Pashtun Taliban gave shelter to the Al Qaeda fanatics that committed 9/11 and 7/7. So when it comes to airstrikes and drone attacks, it’s all fair game in my opinion.


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