It has been reported that a top Al Qaeda leader has been killed by the Pakistani military in north-western border of Pakistan. The military confirmed the news about the killing. Adnan G. el-Shukrijumah was involved in plotting many bomb attacks in the Britain and United States, including the New York subway system.
Shukrijumah was a head of Al Qaeda’s worldwide operations and was charged in connection with many terror cases. He was holding the same position that was once held by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who plotted the Sept. 11 attack. Shukrijumah was on FBI’s most wanted list with an reward of $5 million on his capture.
The military executed a raid at early dawn in South Waziristan, based on the intelligence reports, and two other accomplices were killed along with the Al-Qaeda leader. The death of Al-Qaeda leader Shukrijumah has taken as a major step towards victory for the Pakistan military against terrorism that will go a long way in improving Pakistan’s strategic relations with the United States.
Pakistani Army Chief, General Raheel Shareef had just visited America where he had met with Secretary of State John Kerry and American military leaders. During his meeting he had assured them that Pakistan will strive to improve its strategic relationships with the United Stated, who have been going through a period of mistrust and tension. The United States Congress had extended support of $1 billion for conducting operations in the Northern regions of Pakistan.
Waziristan is a hub of many extremist groups and the Al-Qaeda network and a major target of focus by drone campaigns in Pakistan led by C.I.A. The United States has previously been conducting several drone attacks in the region to fight the extremist group in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.
Pakistan military released a statement in which it said that the operation started late Friday night, when military helicopter started firing on a compound in small village in South Waziristan. In response, the terrorists opened fire and the battle continued until early Saturday morning, resulting in killing Al-Qaeda leader Shukrijumah, two of his companions and one Pakistani soldier.
Shukrijumah was a Saudi national who had spent many years in Brooklyn, New York and went to college in Florida. In 2004, he was declared a major threat and danger to the United States by then Attorney General John Ashcroft.
According to Pakistan Intelligence agencies, Al-Qaeda leader Shukrijumah has been very active in Waziristan until 2009. Later on he was suspected to have fled the country when intelligence lost track of him, until now when he was traced back and killed by the military.
In Wana, which is the capital of South Waziristan, all phone and communication signals were cut off, the roads were blocked and curfew was declared in entire region. The neighbors said that the house where Shukrijumah and his friends were living used to shelter Afghan Taliban for many years. According to them, the resident of the house were only seen sometimes at night and nobody has ever saw him clearly.
Pakistan military officials said that the whereabouts of Shukrijumah came from Pakistan’s own intelligence and not from the United States. They further said that their sincerity to fight against these terror groups is often suspected by United States, but the killing of top Al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan today should be the answer to all the questions Americans ask them.
By Atika Jilani