The officials said they had confirmed the death of Janbaz Zadran, who has often been described as the third-ranking leader of the Haqqani network, near Miram Shah in North Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s tribal area.
“His death in Miram Shah makes him the most senior Haqqani leader in Pakistan to be taken off the battlefield,” said an American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the nominally secret drone program.
Two missiles hit a house and a vehicle, killing Mr. Zadran and three other people, according to Pakistani officials and local news reports. A second drone strike in South Waziristan killed three people, the officials said.
Mr. Zadran, also known as Jamil, was an important link between Haqqani fighters in Afghanistan, who are allied with the Taliban, and the network’s hub in Miram Shah, where it has established a sort of ministate that includes tax collectors, courts and schools to train Islamic fighters. He was the chief organizer of the supply chain across the border for weapons and other goods, according to experts on the network.
Mr. Zadran served as a top aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the network’s operational commander and the son of the group’s patriarch, Jalaluddin Haqqani. In the 1980s, the elder Mr. Haqqani was part of a coalition of Islamist militias, backed by the C.I.A., that fought the Soviet Army in Afghanistan; in recent years, however, his group has become a major target for the agency’s campaign of strikes using missiles fired from drones.
A study last year by the New America Foundation, a Washington research group, said that Mr. Zadran was in charge of Haqqani network finances as well as weapons acquisition. While not an experienced military leader, he came from the Haqqanis’ home village of Srani in Paktia Province in Afghanistan and was among their most trusted deputies, the study said.
Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism expert and one of the authors of the New America paper, said that while the drone strikes in Pakistan had been quite effective against Al Qaeda, whose leaders are mainly non-Pakistanis, they may be less devastating for a group like the Haqqani network.
“The Haqqanis have deep local roots, so they just have a deeper bench,” Mr. Fishman said.
- Robot Wars: US Empire and Geopolitics in the Robotic Age
- Remote: a Documentary about Drones and Humans
- Policing the Future City: Robotic Being-in-the-World
- Intervention Symposium: “Algorithmic Governance”; organised by Jeremy Crampton and Andrea Miller
- How intelligent drones are changing warfare
- Opinion: robots and AI could soon have feelings….
- Predator Empire – Reviews
- The Great War of Enclosure: Securing the Skies (2017)
- Predator Empire – 30% discount at UMP
- Empire in an Age of Robots and Drones
- My upcoming book – Predator Empire
- The Urbanization of Drone Warfare: Policing Surplus Populations in the Dronepolis
- Book Reviews
- Camp Lemonnier
- Chalmers Johnson
- Civilian drones and robotics
- Customs and Border Patrol
- Documentaries and media
- Drone Technology
- Forensic Architecture
- Geopolitics and International Relations
- Guantanamo Bay
- Hannah Arendt
- History of Drones
- Human Geography
- Human Rights
- Jeremy Scahill
- Law and Lawfare
- Martin Heidegger
- Middle East
- Military Industrial Complex
- Nick Turse
- Ocean Geopolitics
- Opinions and Commentary
- Outer Space
- Secrecy and Surveillance
- Special Forces
- Statistics and Graphics
- Terrorism and Counterterrorism
- White House Politics