Al Qaeda commander killed during Karachi raid


An al Qaeda leader who held both Pakistani and Yemeni citizenship killed himself with what appears to be a hand grenade during a raid by Pakistani Rangers in the southern city of Karachi. From The News:

The intelligence sources said the suspect was identified as Abdul Moeedul Islam, a commandeering chief of al-Qaeda in Pakistan, who carried a head money of Rs150 million and had been absconding for a long time.

They added that Mooed was a Yemen national but he also possessed Pakistani citizenship. He had come to Pakistan 13 to 15 years ago. He was trained in militant camps in Afghanistan and later appointed as al-Qaeda commander in Pakistan.

Earlier, he studied in a local madrasa in the SITE area of Karachi, the sources said and added that Moeed had married a Pakistani woman, and during their wedlock she gave birth to three sons and a daughter. They once lived in a house in Defence.

Investigators said that a few months back, the al-Qaeda commander had a dispute with his wife, who got a divorce from a court. Around 18 days ago, he had rented the flat in Gulistan-i-Jauhar. He had been living alone in the flat, while his ex-wife and children are residing in Defence.

The intelligence sources said they had been investigating terror cases and had rounded up some 11 suspects belonging to various militant organisations. The suspects disclosed to the interrogators that Moeed had been hiding in Gulsitan-e-Jauhar.

According to the sources, Moeed had prepared a hit list, including future al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan, including Karachi. According to hospital sources who carried out the post-mortem, Moeed blew himself up with a hand grenade. Further investigations are under way.

According to The Associated Press, Moeed also possessed a US passport and went by the name Saeed Abdul Salam. His name was also given as Moeed Abdul Salam al Yemeni. It is not clear if the passport is real or a fake.

A US intelligence official who tracks al Qaeda’s network in Pakistan told The Long War Journal that Moeed was “a mid-level cog in al Qaeda’s Pakistan machine” and one of many operatives based in Karachi. Moeed was not as significant as Younis al Mauritani, a senior member of al Qaeda’s external operations council who was detained in September by the Frontier Corps in Quetta, or Abu Hafs al Shahri, al Qaeda’s operations chief for Pakistan who was killed in September in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, the official said.

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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