The US military announced that it targeted Abdullahi Haji Da’ud, a top military commander and planner for Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in East Africa, in an airstrike late last month. It is unclear if he is dead or alive.
Just months prior to his death, Osama bin Laden ordered his right hand man to relocate the al Qaeda “brothers” out of North and South Waziristan. The al Qaeda men were to be moved to Afghanistan and other areas in Pakistan.
The attack took place in the tribal agency of Kurram, where the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network is known to have moved its base of operations.
A Twitter feed operated by Al Nusrah’s “correspondent” in the Latakia province posted four photos of the drone after it was downed.
The attack, which took place the Shawal Valley, a terrorist haven, is just the sixth recorded inside Pakistan this year. The US launched 117 drone strikes in Pakistan at the peak of the campaign in 2010.
Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent’s spokesman said that more than 50 of its members have been killed in strikes since June 2014.
Khawray Mehsud served as a bodyguard and close aide to Baitulllah Mehsud, the founder of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. The Taliban said Khawray was a skilled military commander who fought on multiple “fronts” in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Garaar is the fourth senior Shabaab official killed by US forces since September 2014, and the third high-ranking official in the Amniyat killed since December 2014.