British al Qaeda/Shaabab leader may have been killed after calling home

Yesterday the Guardian provided a clue on how Bilal al Berjawi, the al Qaeda commander who was killed in a US drone strike on Jan. 21, may have been tracked:

The 27-year-old’s wife is understood to have given birth to a child in a London hospital a few hours before the missile strike, prompting suspicions among relatives that his location had been pinpointed as a result of a telephone conversation between the couple.

If true, it would be interesting to know if the Brits helped in gathering the signals intelligence. Additionally, the report has a few more details on Berjawi:

Berjawi grew up in west London, travelling to Somalia around three years ago. There were unconfirmed reports that he had been injured in a drone attack last June, after which his wife was said to have returned to the UK.

He was stripped of his British citizenship under the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act using powers the Home Office has been deploying with increasing frequency since the last election.

Berjawi is understood to have sought to appeal against the order, but lawyers representing his family were unable to take instructions from him amid concerns that any telephone contact could precipitate a drone attack.

The Guardian goes on to say that family members claimed he is innocent and was not involved with al Qaeda. But our sources are 100 percent certain that Berjawi was a senior leader in both al Qaeda and Shabaab.

“We’ve been looking for him for some time now,” a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal yesterday. The official would not comment on how Berjawi was traced, 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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  • Neonmeat says:

    He was appealing his the stripping of his British nationality?
    The duplicitous nature of these scum bags never ceeases to amaze me. Of course he wants his wife to have her baby in the a clean British Hospital while he if off fighting Jihad rather than in a a mud compound in Somalia.
    I hope they did track him from the call he made to his family, let them know they are not safe anywhere if they choose this life.
    I can’t explain why but his has me seething.

  • mike merlo says:

    Wait till the family finds out that probably one of their own alerted the ‘authorities’ to the communique.

  • ntimid8 says:

    I couldn’t agree more with neonmeat’s comment. It’s appalling how terrorists so vehemently despise western culture, but do everything they can to enjoy its civility, (e.g. education, healthcare, etc). If the intelligence was indeed gained via the method described in the article, I commend the British government for flushing this and all terrorist animals from their hiding places to be hunted.

  • Mirage says:

    Just goes to show, once you leave your sane, normal and possibly Western life, you can’t go back. Continue fighting us, but once you do, don’t you dare use the West’s resources and countries as your own, you lost that right once you started your “jihad” and you may be seen as a hypocrite among your terrorist friends.

  • Grit says:

    “Been looking for him for some time”? I bet he was in Britain 9 months ago.

  • David says:

    Nope — His wife came back from Somalia 6 months ago, after he was injured in a drone strike, according to the article.
    “Berjawi grew up in west London, travelling to Somalia around three years ago. There were unconfirmed reports that he had been injured in a drone attack last June, after which his wife was said to have returned to the UK.”

  • HJM says:

    I say his family goes too. Wifey knew what he was doing but she gets to live off the British Tax Payers money? No doubt she’s in a Counsel House and claiming benefits. I say make them examples to the other free loading terrorist families in Britain and ship them back to the sandbox they came from. Enough is enough. You adapt to Western Civilization, no the other way around. It’s our way or the highway. These liberal guilt ridden governments need to stop pandering to people who despise our way of life.


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