Al-Qaeda leader killed in US drone strike in Afghanistan : US
In a success for United States target list, US has confirmed the death of a senior al-Qaeda leader targeted by a US drone strike in north eastern Afghanistan last month.
Reportedly, Farouq al-Qahtani, the group’s leader in the area, was killed two weeks ago in a precision strike, according to the Pentagon. It is to be noted that Saudi-born al-Qahtani was placed on a US list of most wanted terrorists in February.
Reportedly, Saudi-born al-Qahtani, who was a Qatari national, was also accused of involvement in plots targeting Europe.
According to a report in Fox news, Peter Cook , who is press secretary for Pentagon, has issued a written statement saying a precision strike conducted by the U.S. military on Oct. 23 in Kunar, Afghanistan, killed Faruq al-Qatani.
Cook has been quoted as saying that al-Qatani was one of al-Qaeda’s “senior plotters of attacks against the United States.”
UK Express reported that Al-Qatani was thought to be one of the most senior al-Qaeda figures remaining in Afghanistan after most of the group’s top brass had gone to Syria and Iraq.
He was reportedly hiding in the region’s thick forest and rugged terrain, it added.He had longstanding ties with Osama bin Laden before his death in the 2011 US raid on his Pakistan compound.
Former acting CIA director, Michael Morell, has said al-Qatani is “a US counterterrorism expert’s worst nightmare”.
Peter Cook also said that United States officials are still working to determine whether a second strike on the same date killed its target, Bilal al-Utabi, another al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan.
In a report of BBC, it claimed that Abdul Ghani Mosamem, a spokesman for Afghan government said that 15 insurgents were killed in the operation on October 23 in the province of Kunar.
It is to be noted that those dead included two Arabs and a number of Pakistani Taliban fighters, the report added.
Al- Jazeera in its report said that big military offensives in Pakistan against the local Taliban have pushed hundreds of fighters across the border into Afghanistan, where they seek safety in areas controlled by the Afghan Taliban.