A suicide assault team from the Abdullah Azzam Brigade killed four policemen during an attack on a police station in the Pakistani city of Peshawar today. The attack was carried out by the Abdullah Azzam Brigade to avenge the death of an al Qaeda and Taliban leader who was killed in a recent US drone strike.
The three-man assault team armed with suicide vests, hand grenades, and assault rifles broke through the gate of the police station and attempted to take it over, according to reports in Dawn and Al Jazeera. The terrorists hurled hand grenades and opened fire on the policemen, then detonated their vests, killing themselves and four policemen.
Abu Zar, who identified himself as a spokesman for the Abdullah Azzam Brigade, told The Associated Press that the terror group carried out the attack to avenge Badr Mansoor, who was killed in a US Predator airstrike on Feb. 9 in Miramshah in North Waziristan.
Mansoor was a senior Taliban and al Qaeda leader who trained recruits to fight in Afghanistan. More importantly, he served as a nexus between the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), a Pakistani terror group supported by the Pakistani military and intelligence services. He operated in an area under the control of the Haqqani Network, an al Qaeda-linked group that also is supported by the Pakistani military and intelligence services.
“Mansoor funneled Pakistani jihadists from HuM and TTP [Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] into the ranks of al Qaeda,” a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal on Feb. 9. “He didn’t just recruit low level-jihadists, but also convinced more experienced commanders to fill positions in al Qaeda.”
Another US intelligence official said that Mansoor is part of the “deep bench” of commanders who are culled from the plethora of Pakistani and Central Asian jihadist groups operating in Pakistan to fill vacant leadership positions in al Qaeda.
Badr Mansoor’s terror group is named after Abdullah Azzam, who co-founded al Qaeda along with Osama bin Laden. Azzam was killed in a bombing in 1989. Osama is widely believed to have killed his mentor after Azzam disagreed with making al Qaeda an international terror group.
The Abdullah Azzam Brigade claimed credit for the June 9, 2009 suicide assault on the Pearl Continental Hotel in a high-security zone in Peshawar. Seventeen people were killed in the attack, and the hotel was badly damaged. A spokesman named Amir Muawiya took credit for that attack and said the Taliban and al Qaeda shura directed that all future strikes would be claimed by this group. Amir Muawiya is a leader in the Commander Tariq Group, a Taliban faction that is based out of Darra Adam Khel in Pakistan’s Arakzai tribal agency.