The Pakistani Taliban confirmed today that Qari Muhammad Yasin, a senior al Qaeda military commander, was killed along with three of his “companions” in a US drone strike on Mar. 19. The airstrike was carried out in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province. Yasin was a member of the Punjabi Taliban, which includes jihadists from various other Pakistani terrorist organizations who are aligned with al Qaeda.
Asmatullah Muawiya is said to have been targeted in one of the two strikes that took place today in Shawal area of North Waziristan in Pakistan.
The US has launched three strikes in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan in the past 10 days, indicating that a top jihadist leader is thought to be operating there.
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan said it ejected Muawiya for responding positively to the government’s offer of peace, but Muawiya said he operates independently. He is likely correct.
Asmatullah Muawiya said that the executions of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru will fuel a new round of attacks on India, and that Kashmir will become a focal point for jihadists after the US abandons Afghanistan.
A Taliban commander loyal to Hafiz Gul Bahadar was the target of the strike; 17 people, including a Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan commander who directed suicide operations, are reported to have been killed.
Abdul Shakoor Turkistani, the leader of the Turkistan Islamic Party, is also in control of the terror camps. He was given the job just weeks before Osama bin Laden was killed.
The Taliban claimed the attack, which occurred during a religious festival at the Sakhi Sarwar shrine in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province.