Top Al Qaeda Leader Killed In Pakistan by Predator Strike


This just in from points across the sea. Predator drones struck again, this time in South Waziristan, and served a rather abrupt pink slip to the terrorism career of Ilyas Kashmiri, according to a report from The Long War Journal. The rapidly cooling subject is described as, “one of al Qaeda’s most dangerous military commanders and strategists, the leader of the Harkat-ul Jihad Islami and al Qaeda’s Brigade 313.”

Kashmiri is said to be one of nine member of the al Qaeda-linked Harkat-ul Jihad Islami, or HUJI, who was killed in yesterday’s Predator airstrike that leveled a compound in the Wana area of South Waziristan. A Harkat-ul Jihad Islami spokesman told Dawn that Kashmiri was killed in the attack.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that Kashmiri was indeed a target of the attack, however they could not confirm he was killed.

“HUJI’s statement is a sure sign we got him, we are pretty confident he is dead but we cannot confirm 100 percent,” one official told The Long War Journal.

Huge is the only word to describe it. Our military has been on a roll lately, no doubt. No confirmation yet if this came as a result of intelligence gleaned from the bin Laden compound, but we really don’t need to know that anyway.

…I’m not ashamed to admit (well, a little ashamed) that I audibly gasped when I saw the news about this on TV this morning. Take five minutes to read two background pieces on Kashmiri so that you fully understand what a big deal this is. The first is Newsweek’s profile of him from October of last year, quoting one American agent as saying, “This guy ties everybody together.” And if the intel on him is correct, that assessment was true: Kashmiri may have had a hand in the Mumbai terror mega-attack and was suspected of organizing operations in Europe, the UK, the U.S., and of course India. He was also supposedly a key liaison to Al Qaeda recruits from western countries. He was, in other words, an operational linchpin, which is why he’d been hunted relentlessly by American and Pakistani agents for years. In fact, we tried to kill him with a drone strike once before and thought we’d succeeded — until Kashmiri surfaced and gave a gloating interview to a reporter. Follow that last link and you’ll find a U.S. official claiming that Kashmiri was “likely involved in every major terrorist attack in Pakistan in the last two years. He is a major player.” That was Kashmiri’s status as of 2009; his stature had only grown since.

The other piece to read is Michael Isikoff’s analysis from a few weeks ago speculating that Kashmiri, not Zawahiri, would be named the new leader of Al Qaeda simply because he’s so much more important to the group’s actual operations.

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So….we used a drone to bomb (again) in Pakistan???
Obama must be shaking in his tennies.
Is our military simply pushing Obama around ….or is he out of the loop?
Or something else?
I do know he will take the credit….if it will gain him votes.

@Nan: Obama ran on a platform of getting out of Iraq and redirecting efforts to Afghanistan and Pakistan, which he always has been careful to speak of as being part of the same problem.

He made a major emphasis on capturing or killing Bin Laden. Bush, in contrast, famously said that he (Bush) “doesn’t think much” about Bin Laden and de-emphasized Bin Laden’s importance. You don’t think that this had an effect on intelligence agency priorities? Obama dramatically increased the intensity of the drone strike program, beginning very early into his Presidency.

You are suggesting, I assume, that the dramatic increase in Predator drone strikes, coinciding with the change in Presidential leadership, is pure coincidence.

You want to portray Obama as being a passive player in all of this — I can understand why.

But a President does establish priorities and these priorities have been playing out in Pakistan, where Obama has done more to disable Al Qaeda in 30 months than Bush did in two terms in office.

He campaigned on it, and he’s doing it. But you won’t give him a nickel’s worth of credit. Because it doesn’t fit with your narrative of Obama being an effete, pseudo-intellectual and Islamophile.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Larry: But a President does establish priorities and these priorities have been playing out in Pakistan, where Obama has done more to disable Al Qaeda in 30 months than Bush did in two terms in office.


After the US went into Pakistan, without their knowledge or permission from what we understand (royally PO’ing an ally, and rightly so), the newspapers were filled with the treasure trove of intel and plots we were about to receive. This, despite the fact that a 2009 State Department report under you know who had rendered UBL effectively nothing more than a figurehead, forced to remain in hiding.

Al Qaeda is more than just a centralized organization based in Pakistan. It is also a network of franchised or like-minded organizations, and an ideological movement in which followers sometimes act in isolation from leaders.

One such “franchise,” the infamous al-Qaida in Mesopotamia — which for years plagued the U.S. occupation in Iraq with roadside bombings and high-profile beheadings — will likely be unaffected by bin Laden’s demise. The organization has struggled since the death of its leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in 2006. But it has operated for some time now mostly independently of support from bin Laden’s network.

In an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill, Farhani Qazi, a terrorism analyst with Booz Allen, argued that bin Laden’s significance to militant anti-Western movements has waned considerably in recent years, but that organizations entirely removed from al-Qaida posed a greater threat to American interests.

After a week and a half, and examination of the UBL’s “treasure trove”, no active plots were found, and we have a picture of a guy we’re all glad is dead, but who was nothing more than a has-been… seeking relevance against the younger, more active local leaders who needed nothing from the Bin Laden broken down network. A network that was disseminated by the guy, George W. Bush, that Larry claims did nothing in his term.

Post Zarqawi and the heat of Iraq, Bin Laden has long since been usurped by the American AQ leader in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki… the only guy to have inspired and having any connection to the US terror attacks in the US under Obama’s watch – at Ft. Hood, the Times Square bombing attempt, and the underwear bombing attempt. The latter two caught DHS totally unaware and were thwarted by the public’s astute sense of awareness. Ft. Hood is a tragic story, and it can be debated that nanny feel good rules and hypersensitivity contributed to the deaths of those at the base.

Pakistan… yeah there’s another lesson in how to keep our friends.. friends… from this admin. Step up the drone attacks, and with them the collateral damage, as has been done. Invade their sovereignty without their knowledge to get a has-been for a genuine feel-good moment, even if lacking in serious intelligence value. Then plaster all over the news in the following day how we don’t “trust” Pakistan.

To that list of former quasi allies thrown to the wolves, we can add Egypt/Mubarak (ain’t the MB dancing…), Libya/Gaddafi, and Yemen/Saleh while the uncooperative despots like Assad/Syria and Ahmadinejad/Iran get a pass for their inhumane treatment.

What our “allies” in the Middle East have learned… including our genuine ally in Israel… is that with friends like Obama, and his distraction from the ever changing threats and current figure heads, it’s probably best to be an enemy because he’ll leave them alone.

The only “nickel” I’ll be tossing this CiC is that he hasn’t reneged on the Bush/Iraq SOFA (yet…), and that he pretended to do something in Afghanistan instead of immediately pulling out. But then, with all his pomp and circumstance on it being the only “real” war worth fighting, he didn’t leave himself that back door.

Meanwhile, Arab Spring and so called democracy is likely to lead to Summer War with Israel, timed to coincide with both the Egyptian election of MB leadership and the unholy alliances of the “new” Egypt/MB, and Palestines “friends”, Fatah and Hamas as they declare unilateral statehood. [Download the PDF of Chuck Devore’s “The Next Middle East War” to read] This CiC has already telegraphed he’s a bit queasy standing with Israel, so they’re all kicking up their heels. They know the US is militarily overloaded, with Obama’s latest war foray into former ally, Libya, under NATO flags. And I’m sure they’re quite happy with the Obama decision to gut the US military force in the world to try and bail out the US economy.

In short, there’s a bozo at the helm who has, probably unwittingly, enabled the next Israeli war by isolating not only our allies and quasi-allies, but by kicking out the only guy in Egypt who was risking it all to keep peace with Israel. So I might be asking for that nickel back, plus more, next year as liquidated damages to the US security amidst a new and more aggressive middle east.

Hey, Mata, don’t tell your story to me. Tell it to Nan, who was worried about Obama getting undeserved credit for another Al Qaeda being sent off to paradise. Maybe Obama has p.o.’d the Pakistanis, but he’s sure pleasing the Indians.

Anyway, I’m pleased that you are giving Obama credit for the results in Pakistan since he took office. You are unimpressed that this is being helpful to the goals of the USA. You presume to know the full extent of the contents of the Bin Laden hard drives. O.K. That’s your opinion. But you do acknowledge that Obama pretty much owns what’s resulted from his Pakistani offensive. Let’s see how this plays out, over time.

Here’s what I think:

The “War on Terror” comes down to a battle for hearts and minds. Rumsfeld said that, during the Bush administration, they weren’t killing and capturing terrorists as rapidly as they were being formed. I think that the Bin Laden killing, and all the high profile Paki efforts, combined with the Arab Spring (and so many right wingers are criticizing Obama for allegedly allowing the Arab Spring to happen, rather than “standing up for” the great pro-American dictator/despots, e.g. Mubarek), is creating a teachable moment, in the Islamic world. There’s a choice to be made: attack the Great Satan or look to the future and build a new world. The inspiration for the latter, by the way, didn’t come out of Iraq — it came from a Tunisian street vendor.

Obama’s handling of the Arab Spring (including Libya), by the way, has been pitch perfect. An amazing balancing act, which is playing out as well as it could. I wrote on another thread what I thought about Obama’s moves and remarks regarding Israel. Another plus. The status quo was not and is not a good option for Israel or for the USA, for that matter.

But you give him credit for what’s going on in Pakistan. Good for you.

P.S. Just thinking more about Mata’s assertion that a new Arab-Israeli war is right around the corner. I’m thinking — who is going to be launching such a war? Israel didn’t have one tiny thing to do with the Arab Spring. It wasn’t motivated by a hatred of Israel. It was motivated by a hatred of despotic dictators, with no distinction at all concerning whether said dictators were collaborators with Israel or US allies. It had (and has) nothing to do with Israel and nothing at all to do with the USA. It’s the same sort of self-generated quest for liberty which has driven all successful revolutions.

Egypt has its hands full addressing its own internal problems. So does Syria. So does Lebanon. So does Jordan. So do all the Middle Eastern countries. So who’s going to launching yet another Arab-Israeli war, any time soon?

I’m also curious as to what, specifically, Obama should be doing with respect to Syria and Iran, which is different from what he has been doing. On Obama’s watch, there was an actual street revolt against the Iranian mullahs; it didn’t succeed, but neither did the sentiments recede. It’s always good policy to be on the right side of history, and the right side of history is to be on the side of democratization. We were on the wrong side of history by supporting the Shah of Iran and the world has been paying the price for the last 30 years. It’s time to get on the right side, to the extent we are able.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Yeah… “pitch perfect”. LOL We’ll talk after the “unilateral declaration” and Egyptian elections. Problem with the Egyptians who may actually have been pro freedom reform is they wanted instant change. Don’t happen like that. Still having demonstrations because they aren’t getting what they want for instant results. And we’ll see what advantage there is after Libya’s fate settles, and whether we get any further intel from them. I sure as heck hope it isn’t what it’s playing out to be thus far. I’m not so partisan as to wish for a violent middle east, united against Israel. Unfortunately the western media rhetoric doesn’t match reality. Then again, when has it ever.

Yes I give him credit for the relationship with Pakistan deteriorating further. Great… nuke armed country. uh huh. I give him credit for alienating pretty much every ally… or quasi ally… we have over there, and emboldening the despots who know he wouldn’t touch them with US might with a 10 foot pole. Never been so embarrased in a US President in my life.

INRE “inspiration” for revolt. Interesting that when Iran revolted against an overt unfair election, this POTUS did nothing. Also interesting that you say Dubya did virtually nothing to dismantle UBLs AQ network… a most naive foreign policy assessement in the face of reality… that you automatically assume that Iraq has no part in countries rising up against a dictator. You know this how? Care to share your classified emails? That Iraq has turned a corner… even if not perfect… in their history is a non event? I suggest you profess too much omnipotentence in automatically rejecting how much that country’s change may affect even vendors in another country.

HOPE THEY ARE GIVING YOU A BONUS FOR THAT, instead of cutting your earning.

@Mata: What despot has been “emboldened,” and what is the manifestation of this “emboldenment,” and what should Obama have done so as not to have “emboldened” said despot?

I mean, it’s all well and good to make ambiguous charges, but what on earth are you talking about?

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Mr Run and Swim out of Commieformia. Your Arab Spring out of the Middle East will lead to another war. I have kin in Israel.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, the Pakistani’s gave Ilyas Kashmiri up to US forces.
The word goes to Obama.
Obama knows too many high-up US military knows about it – even if we all don’t.
Obama knows the Pakistani’s don’t want him.
Obama HAS to say, “Yes.”

We are cleaning house FOR a radical Pakistan that refuses to arrest or try those Bombay, India attack planners.
In Libya we are cleaning house FOR the Libyan version of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Egypt we are giving billions to help set up Muslim Brotherhood.
In Gaza/West Bank we are helping establish a state for the Muslim Brotherhood.
I would not say that Obama is on the side of democracy in the ME.
Looks more like he wants the re-establishment of a Caliph, possibly under Wahabbi/Saudi stewardship.


Why don’t we use the borders after the Yom Kippur War of 1973? 10 miles from Cairo and 5 miles from Damascus. King David would be proud. After another “surprise attack” and thousands died, we triumphed. Next time no UN to stop us. No more Sinai give ups, no more Gaza. This time, peace in our time. Shalom!

I just solved the trouble in the middle

He made a major emphasis on capturing or killing Bin Laden. Bush, in contrast, famously said that he (Bush) “doesn’t think much” about Bin Laden and de-emphasized Bin Laden’s importance. You don’t think that this had an effect on intelligence agency priorities?

Do you think that just maybe you might be misconstruing the meaning behind why President Bush said that in response to a question he was posed? And do you really believe getting bin Laden ever ceased being a priority?

Probably a good idea, Wordsmith. Too bad that they have to take away something from the post that doesn’t exist… i.e. leaping to erroneous conclusions?

But then, who knows if they are “headline soundbyte” readers. I might have to put it BEFORE the main part of the post… LOL

Psst….Mata? Wrong post. 🙂

That’s what I get for using the author comments-all-in-one page and hitting “reply” before the dang thing finishes loading… LOL But I did put the update insert in. Thanks for the idea. Was getting as annoying as last summer’s Cordoba House battles….. Larry, you liberal slip is showing again! You agin comment on things you have absolutely no knowledge about. Just where do you get your TSSCI intel? The New York Times or that bastion of freedom the LA Times? You have no clue what either Bush or Obama has done to fight Al Qaeda. If we followed the Larry tract, we would not have any military bases in foreign countries. We would not have been able to kill OBL and the drones would not be flying. Who do you think developed the strategy for Afghanistan and Iraq?

Some day Larry, you really need to take a course in deductive thinking. The brain washing you received in your higher education institutions are not working for you! What despot has been “emboldened,” and what is the manifestation of this “emboldenment,” and what should Obama have done so as not to have “emboldened” said despot?

Ahmadinejad post elections, when the US demonstrated little support for the genuine freedom revolt there. Ahmadinejad 1, Obama 0.

Assad actually uses force on his rebels (not the “we think there might be violence, so let’s to go war BS in Libya), and Obama/NATO just give a few public tsks tsks. Nothing more. Assad 1, Obama 0.

Then, of course, there’s Pakistan. Middle East unfriendly leaders look at Pakistan’s relationship with the US since post 9/11, and see that the US predator bombs, invades their sovereignty and performs military missions within their borders. Then broadcast all over the world news that they don’t “trust” Pakistan.

Think that’s going to make Syria or Iran crave being a US ally? Hang no… as our enemies, they know full well we don’t enter their borders, this POTUS won’t publicly call for their removal, and they sure don’t send NATO in against them just because they “think” there might be violence against protesters. That’s been proven by both Iran and Syria’s handling of their protesters…. and the lip service only reaction. And not very strong at that.

Emboldened? Hang yes. Because they look at Obama, calling for leaders to step down in countries that aid the US in intel. Lesson learned? Don’t be helping the US while this guy is in the Oval Office. Emboldened to shoot protesters and rig elections? Sure. The US barely says a word, and certainly doesn’t give any support in countries who are not US allies.

Mubarak ultimately did step down, and now the treaty with Israel is in jeopardy and MB poised for assuming power in fall. The military, working with MB leaders, has already relaxed restrictions and opened the blockade on the Gaza Strip. Who only knows what will be going into that territory now.

Gaddafi is having the last laugh at the moment… he’s not going simply because the US CiC wants him to go. And that guy has a long memory for betrayal, in case you haven’t forgotten. If you thought he was PO’ed at the US a few decades ago, we can only imagine what he will do now if he stays in power. Thank you Obama, Hillary, Rice and Powers. There is no end to your stupidity. Gaddafi, former ally (and still a bad guy…), 1, Obama 0.

Yemen/Saleh. Another “quasi” ally in the sense that any of them can be allies when their Muslim citizens hate the US. Obama wants him gone too… doesn’t matter who is likely to fill the power void as in the other states. Another example of why it’s not good to be any kind of a friend to the US with Obama in the lead.

This POTUS chooses the wrong sides at every avenue. Middle East dictators know that to be a friend to the US is to have a knife aimed at your back when the going gets tough.

Added: speaking of wrong sides, I would be remiss to remind you of Honduras, where when they kicked out a President who was going against their Constitution and trying for permanent reign, Obama and his State department fell on the side of the ousted wannabe “king”, demanding they ignore their Constitution and let him back into power.

Oh yes… what Obama *should* have done. Taken a cue from his predecessor when our ally, Musharraf, was under power assault in that nation. Explain that this leader has been our ally, and that their civil wars and elections are none of our business… then wait it out. P.S. Just thinking more about Mata’s assertion that a new Arab-Israeli war is right around the corner. I’m thinking — who is going to be launching such a war?

I provided you with the Human Events link to the Chuck Devore report in that comment, Larry. It’s not all that long of a study that you can get sent to you for free from Human Events.

Instead of speculating about something you know nothing about… i.e. the whos, whys and hows… why don’t you just get the danged report?

sigh…. P.S. Just thinking more about Mata’s assertion that a new Arab-Israeli war is right around the corner. I’m thinking — who is going to be launching such a war?

Gee, watch the news much?
Every border Israel has was over-run or attempted to be over-run this weekend, Larry.
The IDF was forced to fire at these provocateurs.
Either 4 or 14 Syrians were killed at the Golan Heights portion of the border.
From both Gaza and from West Bank provocateurs have amassed at the borders.

Further boxing in the people of Gaza: although the Egyptians have opened the Rafah Border 6 days a week, 12 hours a day; it is HAMAS that is now preventing their own people in Gaza from using that exit.
Hamas has trumped up a phony issue to imprison their own people, but that is par for their course.
Every year Hamas prevents their own people from performing their required Hajj in Mecca, too.
Hamas is very afraid (with good reason) that folks would never come back if they ever got out.

Yes indeedy, Ms. Nan G. That’s the way they like to “celebrate” the Six Day War anniversary. More upcoming as well.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a 2005 candidate for Palestinian president, told the Post that Sunday’s Naksa demonstrations were the second wave of demonstrations, after the Nakba demonstrations, before the declaration of a Palestinian state at the UN in September. The next wave of demonstrations will be on July 9, the anniversary of a 2004 declaration by the UN that found the West Bank security barrier illegal, Barghouti said.

“We’ve tried negotiations, now the UN is part of our diplomatic resistance,” said Barghouti, a distant cousin of Marwan Barghouti and the secretary general of the Palestine National Initiative, the independent political party for politicians not aligned with Hamas or Fatah.

Yup… going to be an ugly late summer/fall for Israelis.

Nan G, hi, you are so efficient to bring some interresting NEWS that I rely on you for those, saving me a lot of free time
thank you

Let’s see, Obama has done wonders for the WOT and what Bush did was insignificant. That’s interesting considering the biggest complaints from his left wing constituents is that he is that he is continuing with Bush’s policies in Afghanistan and Iraq. To try and say that what happened in the WOT in the years prior to Obama did not impact on on our current successes is like saying that North Africa and Sicily did not impact Normandy; that Midway, the Coral Sea, Guadacanal, and Iwo Jima did not impact Hiroshima and Nagasaki; or that Antietam, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Atlanta, and the Wilderness did not impact the Overland Campaign. To imply that eliminating OBL would have ended the WOT would be the same as saying that if FDR had taken out Hitler in 1942, WWII would have ended. The time to have taken out OBL where it would have had the biggest impact would have been in 1994 after the first WTC attack but President GW Bush missed his opportunity back then.

@another vet: Now Tom, don’t confuse Larry and the lefties with facts. They don’t need any. It doesn’t matter if we are discussing AGW, GWOT, or Sarah Palin. facts just get in the way of ingrained ideology!

MATA I wonder if GADAFI WILL ever get his money back, billions of dollars worth have been spent by the GOLDMAN SASH FRIEND OF OBAMA ,and GADAFI WANT HIS MONEY BACK NOW,
I realy have the feeling that I am telling a story of the MAFIA GROUP IN GODFATHER,