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Alliances | Asia - Central | Boeing | Field Reports | Issues - International | Missiles - Anti-Armor | Policy - Doctrine | UAVs

Predator Kills Important al-Qaeda Leader in Pakistan

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Hellfire, coming up… The death of al-Qaeda leader Haitham al-Yemeni was not the result of a car bomb, as originally reported in a Pakistani newspaper, but the result of a Hellfire missile strike from an MQ-1 Predator UAV flying overhead. The Washington Post claims that strike capped over a week of surveillance by U.S. intelligence and military personnel working along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The U.S. team was reportedly hoping Haitham al-Yemeni would lead them to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but with the U.S. capture of senior al Qaeda leader Abu Faraj al-Libbi, CIA officials targeted Haitham al-Yemeni for killing rather than risk his going into hiding. The Post’s sources said the Predator drone, operated from a secret base hundreds of miles from the target, located and fired on al-Yemeni late Saturday night in Toorikhel, Pakistan, a suburb of Mirali in the province of North Waziristan. A local newspaper noted a “car bomb” attack, with two people killed. It identified the second victim as Samiullah Khan. As the Washington Post correctly notes: bq. “The CIA and U.S. military Special Operations forces have been operating inside Pakistan for more than two years with the knowledge of Pakistani authorities. But the […]

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