Confirmed: AQ “mad scientist” killed

posted at 1:05 pm on July 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday I wrote about the claim from Pakistan that the senior al-Qaeda chemical-weapons expert died in an American missile strike in South Waziristan.  Given that Abu Khabab al-Masri had been declared dead more than once before, the initial report got received with some understandable skepticism.  However, Pakistani officials told CBS today that they have positively identified Midhat Mursi’s body, along with five other “Arabs”:

One of al Qaeda’s top chemical and biological weapons experts was killed in an air strike by a CIA pilotless drone in a remote Pakistani border region, senior Pakistani intelligence officials told CBS NewsTuesday morning.

Intelligence officials investigating the early Monday missile attack confirmed that Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri was one of six men killed and his remains had been positively identified.

“We now have a positive ID on the body. I can confirm to you that Al-Masri has been killed,” a Pakistani intelligence official told CBS News on the condition of anonymity. Earlier reports claimed that the six men killed included three Arabs, while the other three were believed to be Afghans or Pakistanis.

However, the intelligence official who spoke to CBS Tuesday said all six men were Arabs. Those killed also included Sheikh Ibrahim, a mid ranking al Qaeda operative believed to be either Egyptian or Jordanian. The other four victims were described as ordinary foot soldiers. The intelligence official did not provide the full names nor the citizenship of the four lower ranking militants.

CBS reports that the death of Abu Khabab would only have a “minimal” impact on AQ operations, since the group has largely abandoned the notion of chemical and biological attacks.  However, Khabab also ran terrorist training camps, among whose graduates were Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid, both of whom will spend the rest of their lives in Supermax prisons in the US.  His death may not “cripple” either the Taliban or AQ, but it certainly eliminates another member of its leadership and sends a message to the rest of the network about their operational security.

The word on this attack is that it had a great deal of support from Pakistan.  The Pakistanis haven’t exactly hidden this from view, either, announcing the strike and the target with more enthusiasm than one might suspect from the current government.  Prime Minister Gilani is visiting the US, and made a press appearance at the White House yesterday after news of the strike hit the wires.  The Gilani government wants to reassure the US of its continued partnership, and together with recent military activity around Peshawar, may be looking to revert back to a policy once favored by Pervez Musharraf regarding their radical Islamists.


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Comments

Well done, er nuked, versus medium rare.

Not to worry, illusions shattered. Scroll down, a bit.

Entelechy on July 29, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Tzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

I love the smell of toasted Jihadi in the morning….

Dale in Atlanta on July 29, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Good, great news. I was hoping he was DRT.
L

letget on July 29, 2008 at 1:10 PM

As a “mad scientist”, I am offended.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on July 29, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Is Pakistan backing the killing of jihadists in general, or just foreign jihadists? What’s the stance on killing the native cretins?

forest on July 29, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Cue the music.

amerpundit on July 29, 2008 at 1:11 PM

That’s what we’ll have to do with them… not capture them to benefit from our ( favoring the enemy) laws… just kill them. Be careful what you wish for ACLU

MNDavenotPC on July 29, 2008 at 1:12 PM

When did Giuliani become Prime Minister of Pakistan?

Tinian on July 29, 2008 at 1:14 PM

News headline

“Khabab gets roasted over slow flame secret recipe lost”

William Amos on July 29, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Is Pakistan backing the killing of jihadists in general, or just foreign jihadists? What’s the stance on killing the native cretins?

forest on July 29, 2008 at 1:11 PM

forest: they’d be happy has hell if we killed all the Foreign Jihadis in their FATA & NWFP areas; the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Saudis, and especially the Uzbekis!

However, they don’t want us to kill the “locals”; too much bad PR for them, though they’d be better of if we did.

I think we are going after them, anyhow, via the UAV’s; we need to take Baitullah Mershud out ASAP; the’s the main instigator in the NWFP in the Swat District; if we could nail him, it would cause a power-struggle that would be greatly beneficial to us…

Dale in Atlanta on July 29, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Means nothing.

Pakistan confirmed his previous deaths too.

Need something more credible than ISI claims…

DJ Elliott on July 29, 2008 at 1:17 PM

how are those 72 virgins working out for you now al-Masri.

Mojack420 on July 29, 2008 at 1:17 PM

CBS reports that the death of Abu Khabab would only have a “minimal” impact on AQ operations………

…… said a tearful CBS reporter, who prayed for his family, and will be sending a camera crew to film the funeral, as well as setting up a scholarship fund in Abu Khabab’s name.

Seven Percent Solution on July 29, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Old but fitting:

Rest in Pieces

TooTall on July 29, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Oh thats just great,well,it looks
like the MOAB has to be re-targeted
for another Jihady,and they had his
name spray painted on the side of
it as well,such a shame! haha.

canopfor on July 29, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Upon departure from Iran, Brian Williams of NBC will be traveling to the area tomorrow to report on collateral damage. News at 6………

luckybogey on July 29, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Confirmed: AQ “mad scientist” killed

and…

Mainstream Media, Democrats Pelosi, Murtha, Reid, Obama (PBUH) in mourning….

Dale in Atlanta on July 29, 2008 at 1:31 PM

To PETA: YOU’RE WECLOME!

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 29, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Upon departure from Iran, Brian Williams of NBC will be traveling to the area tomorrow to report on collateral damage. News at 6………

luckybogey on July 29, 2008 at 1:29 PM

What will it be this time; a school, a wedding party, a funeral procession or an innocent civilian box of kittens?

forest on July 29, 2008 at 1:40 PM

“Khabab gets roasted over slow intense flame secret recipe lost”

William Amos on July 29, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Entelechy on July 29, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Pity. Obama could have achieved the same result with tough negotiation.

Cicero43 on July 29, 2008 at 1:41 PM

I was reading about this couple days ago, a U.S. military spokesman said “It wasn’t us.” which is funny ’cause Mrs.737 and I had just returned from watching “Iron Man”. In that movie, Iron Man goes to Afghanistan and kills a bunch of terrorists. When that happened, people working at the Pentagon were saying “It wasn’t us.” haha

Anyway, good shootin’, C.I.A.! Keep up the good work!

Tony737 on July 29, 2008 at 1:46 PM

how are those 72 virgins working out for you now al-Masri.

Mojack420 on July 29, 2008 at 1:17 PM

You all over-estimate these Evil, deviant, Freaks; they’re not after the 72 “houris” (Arabic for “Virgins”); they’re REALLY after the 24 “Ghilman” they get as well?

24 – 72; stays within the bounds of Islamic law that says it takes 3 women to equal one man as well; nice and convenient, isn’t it?

Dale in Atlanta on July 29, 2008 at 1:58 PM

“This will devastate the life of some child,” -Michelle Hussein.

Akzed on July 29, 2008 at 1:58 PM

how are those 72 virgins working out for you now al-Masri.
Mojack420 on July 29, 2008 at 1:17 PM

In fact, it’s 72 Virginians. Ouch.

Akzed on July 29, 2008 at 2:00 PM

I’m still skeptical. Pakistan’s ISI has been awfully supportive of the Taliban and al Qaeda. Heck, they helped create the Taliban. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn they lied to their own government: “Oh, sure, Mr. PM. He’s dead. Trust us.” Followed by snickering.

irishspy on July 29, 2008 at 2:13 PM

They give us one dead guy, we upgrade their F16’s so they can menace India…

tommylotto on July 29, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Cue the music.

amerpundit on July 29, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Actually I think this is what Abu Kehbab is going through now.

Shy Guy on July 29, 2008 at 2:38 PM

He didn’t even get the opportunity to defend his actions in a court of law. How unfair. :)

Claypigeon on July 29, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Yes! Score!

SoulGlo on July 29, 2008 at 3:30 PM

“Are you a registered Doner, Mr. Khabab?”

RD on July 30, 2008 at 1:15 AM

Shish…Khabab.

labrat on July 30, 2008 at 7:35 AM