Al Qaeda leader among 4 killed in North Waziristan drone strike

Published: December 7, 2014
Unmanned aircraft fires two missiles, targeting a house. PHOTO: AFP

Unmanned aircraft fires two missiles, targeting a house. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: A senior member of al Qaeda and three other suspected militants were killed on Sunday when a US drone attacked a house they were in, military officials and Taliban said.

Four military officials said a senior member of al Qaeda was among the dead in the strike by a missile-firing drone on Sunday.

They identified him as Omar Farooq and said he operated in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three Taliban fighters said Farooq, 38 years old, was from Karachi, where he had been a religious teacher before joining al Qaeda after the 2001 attack on New York.

He was close to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the former and current heads of al Qaeda, and was a key figure in running the group’s operations and finances in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, where he also helped direct attacks against Nato troops, the Taliban said.

Al Qaeda is closely allied with the Taliban and often work together.

One official said Farooq, also called Ustad Farooq, was in charge of al Qaeda’s regional media department.

“He is the first Pakistani to be appointed to a senior-level position in al Qaeda,” a military official told Reuters.

“He has been key in pushing al Qaeda to focus on South Asia and helped evolve al Qaeda’s South Asia policy and specifically its anti-India activities. It was on his advice that al Qaeda officially declared the Pakistan Army an apostate army.”

The drone strike took place in Khar Tangi village in Datta Khel, North Waziristan, a mountainous region bordering Afghanistan. Khar Tangi is about 45 km west of Miramshah.

One military official said six men were killed in the attack.

Drone strikes often have conflicting death tolls because independent witnesses can rarely access the areas where they take place.

The attack came a day after Pakistani forces killed a major al Qaeda leader, Adnan el Shukrijumah. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation had offered $5 million for his capture in connection with a plot to bomb the New York subway system.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • SKChadha
    Dec 7, 2014 - 12:33PM

    What is the time schedule of FO’s statement, condemning this strike?


  • Citizen26
    Dec 7, 2014 - 3:29PM

    On this occasion, FO would try to claim $5 million head prize.


  • Alfa Romeo
    Dec 7, 2014 - 4:04PM

    Without doubt,Pakistan is handing over Alqaeda and haqqani’s to the Americans after the General’s visit.


  • sani
    Dec 7, 2014 - 5:20PM

    At least this one is a good news for the peace lovers of this war stricken country,


  • Saleem
    Dec 7, 2014 - 8:01PM

    Whatever it is, killing of these murderers is a good news for Pakistan.


  • unbelievable
    Dec 8, 2014 - 12:40AM

    Even with thousands of Pakistan troops deployed in the N Waziristan offensive the American drones seem to be the ones eliminating the most Al Qaeda and Haqqani terrorist – wonder why that is?


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