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.
The strike ends an 11-day-long lull in the CIA-directed attacks in Pakistan’s tribal agencies. A compound in Mullah Nazir’s territory was the target of the attack.
The Taliban detonated a car bomb at a compressed natural gas station today, killing more than 32 people. The target was a nearby headquarters for the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.
The Center for Public Integrity has released an investigative report detailing the circumstances of Daniel Pearl’s murder in 2002. The report highlights the “nexus” between Pakistani terrorist groups and al Qaeda, and provides new details concerning Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s role in the plot.
A remotely triggered bomb was detonated this morning at a Sufi and Hindu shrine in the city of Pakpattan in Punjab province.
Two suicide bombers detonated within minutes of each other at the shrine of the patron saint of Karachi.
In today’s attacks, 54 Shia were killed during a protest in Quetta and one Ahmadi was killed at a mosque in Mardan.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi, another name for the Punjabi Taliban, claimed it carried out the attack.
Ebad-ul-Rehman is thought to have been killed in the May 15 attack in the Tirah Valley on May 15. Rehman orchestrated the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.