Another day, another CIA drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas. This time the robots claimed the life of Ilyas Kashmiri, a high-profile and active al-Qaeda commander operating in South Waziristan (with a $5 million wanted tag on his head). He lead the ‘313 brigade’, a unit of the banned Pakistani organization Harkatul Jihad al-Islami. The BBC reports that:
He is widely believed to have masterminded an audacious attack on the Mehran naval airbase in Karachi last month, in which six well-organised militants managed to hold off Pakistan’s equivalent of the US Navy Seals for 15 hours.
In 2010, US prosecutors quoted a Chicago taxi driver charged with sending money to Kashmiri as saying the militant told him he “wanted to train operatives to conduct attacks in the United States”.
Kashmiri was charged with helping to plot an attack against the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, which published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad which angered Muslims worldwide.
He also allegedly met David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American who has admitted to scouting targets for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group for the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai (Bombay), which left more than 160 people dead.