The Afghan Taliban confirmed that their deputy governor for Nuristan province was killed in a US airstrike.
The Taliban announced the death of Jamil ur Rahman (or Jamil al Rahman bin Sa’adullah) in a statement released on May 23 on the Pashto-language section of Voice of Jihad, and then again on May 25 on the Arabic-language section, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
“We received with deep sadness the news of the martyrdom of the deputy governor of Nuristan province in the formations of the Islamic Emirate, the well-known knowledgeable and jihadi personality, the venerable sheikh, Jamil al-Rahman, along with his closest friend, the heroic commander Abdul Hakim, at noon today, Wednesday, 23/5/2012, in an American airstrike in the village of Hashmuz in Wanat Waygal district of Nuristan province,” the Taliban statement said.
The Taliban said that Jamil’s death was “a big loss to all the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, and the citizens and the whole Muslim world,” and then extolled his “martyrdom,” and vowed to “retaliate.”
“Every mujahid with determination in the Islamic Emirate has pledged to retaliate, Allah willing, for all the martyrs and the oppressed,” the statement continued.
The Taliban provided a brief bio of Jamil, noting that he was born “in a religious family” in Hashmuz, the same village where he was killed, and “completed his studies in different religious schools in Pakistan.”
“In addition to teaching Shariah sciences, he had a strong and effective role in the previous jihad and he remained a commander for several fronts,” the statement said. The Taliban said that Jamil was “assigned by the Command of the Islamic Emirate as the deputy governor of Nuristan province, where he continued his jihadi mission until the last moments of his life….”
The International Security Force announced Jamil’s death on May 23, and described him as “a senior insurgent leader in Nuristan province” who “provided leadership and support to insurgent forces throughout Nuristan and Kunar and coordinated insurgent activities across eastern Afghanistan.” The governor of Nuristan confirmed the deaths of Jamil ur Rahman and Abdul Hakim, and noted that Jamil was the Taliban’s deputy shadow governor [see LWJ report, ISAF kills Taliban’s deputy shadow governor for Nuristan].
Jamil served under Dost Mohammed, the longtime shadow governor for Nuristan who is tied to al Qaeda. ISAF killed Jamil just one week after a Taliban liaison to the Peshawar Shura, which commands operations in Nuristan, was captured. The Taliban liaison also served under Dost Mohammed.
Much of Nuristan is either under Taliban control or is contested. The province serves as a safe haven for al Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and other regional terror groups.