Green Room

Something’s up: Four major Al Qaeda commanders killed in Pakistani tribal areas — in 10 days

posted at 11:49 am on December 9, 2012 by

At least one of them was a very big fish.

Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdul Rehman Al-Hussainan, aka Abu-Zaid al Kuwaiti, was killed in Pakistan while eating breakfast, according to the accounts. The 46-year-old cleric was seen as part of the “very top tier” of al-Qaida’s remaining leaders in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden, according to one expert on the terror group…

“That’s a big gap in the leadership,” said [Evan] Kohlmann, who is also a Justice Department consultant. “He was the last senior Al-Qaida leader in the Afghanistan-Pakistan area who was, one, from the Arabian Peninsula and, two, who had serious clerical credentials. Now there is no obvious publicly recognizable candidate left to succeed Zawahiri.”…

Al-Hussainan is the highest ranking al-Qaida official to be killed since [Atiyah Abdel Rahman].

Unless I’ve missed something, with Hussainan, Rahman, Abu Yahya al-Libi, and Ilyas Kashmiri all dead, AQ’s hierarchy now basically consists of Zawahiri on top and then a swarm of younger inexperienced no-names far beneath him who are trying to hold the group together by filling emerging leadership voids. But never mind that; the interesting bit here is the timing. Hussainan was killed on Friday and today we get this:

A U.S. drone attack killed a senior al Qaeda commander in Pakistan’s northwest on Sunday, military intelligence officials said, the second militant leader to be killed in strikes by the unmanned aircraft in three days.

The attack killed Mohammad Ahmed Almansoor and three others in a village close to Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border.

According to Bill Roggio, two other AQ capos were killed in drone strikes in South Waziristan on November 29 and December 1. Not only that, but those strikes were the first U.S. attacks in 36 days, the second-longest operational pause in drone warfare in Pakistan since 2008. What gives? Did the U.S. have a bead on these guys all along but decided to hold off while trying to rebuild relations with Pakistan, or did we stumble into some kind of intelligence windfall? Maybe it’s a bit of both: Coincidentally, Pakistan’s foreign minister declared on November 28 — a day before the first new drone strike — that relations with the U.S. have now been fully repaired. Could be that ISI, as a token of goodwill, decided to drop a dime on a bunch of Al Qaeda bigwigs, with the U.S. given a green light by Pakistani military leaders to go ahead and take them out.

Exit question: But what does ISI get in return from us? Hmmmmmmm.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Good news to start the day off.

DeathtotheSwiss on December 9, 2012 at 12:06 PM

That is the only thing you can trust the Paki ‘Slums with. Targeting “top” Al-Q members. They would never lie about that would they? Hand your over a few pounds of rage boy hamburger and tell you what you want to hear?

BL@KBIRD on December 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

The so called “Al Qaeda Central” has been irrelevant for a long time and the terrorists killed in Pakistan/Afghanistan belong to Al Qaeda central… The great dangers are coming from Al Qaeda terrorist groups in Yemen/Arabian Peninsula and North Africa as well as the “lone wolf” type terrorists in the US and the West… Also let us not forget that islamic extremists such as the muslim brotherhood now in total control of Egypt the largest arab country and that the Taliban terrorists are going to have total control of Afghanistan once we leave there in 2014…

So in summary islamic terrorism is still very much alive and extremely dangerous and we have to be very vigilant and ready to go to war against for a long time to come…

mnjg on December 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM

First we need to call it Jihad then al-Qaeda

Oil Can on December 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

OT

I’m scratching my head over this one. Anyone in Ohio know why the applicants seem to be of a singular common background?

BL@KBIRD on December 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Maybe it has something to do with this article…

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/paulos-alogrithm/

jtdavies on December 9, 2012 at 1:46 PM

And meanwhile, Shakil Afridi, the doctor from Pakistan who helped aid in the capture of BinLaden, still sits in prison serving out his 33 year sentence for treason.

JPeterman on December 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

ISI also needs a little drone strike.

AshleyTKing on December 9, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Obama and killin’ people is the new PB&J

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 5:47 PM

al-Kuwaiti was a big takedown. As was Rahman, since he was one of the Blind Shiekh’s kids.

IMO, this is about Syria and Northern Africa.

The info could have come from Egypt, Lybia or most likely, one of the Syrian rebel groups we’re arming
supporting.

It’s the best way to stop AQ from getting their hands on the free-flowing caches.

budfox on December 9, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Revenge for making Obama look bad in Benghazi. You might get a pass, but if you make him look bad, there are consequences.

BruthaMan on December 9, 2012 at 6:53 PM

A re-election gift to the One… He’ll pay them back over the next 4 yrs.

RalphyBoy on December 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

BHO is trying to distract OBL from hossin around with his 72 virgins.

tommy71 on December 9, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Always good news. Still, it’s just trimming the kudzu.

Boogeyman on December 9, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Always good news. Still, it’s just trimming the kudzu.

Boogeyman on December 9, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Ayeah, this is like using a Bic lighter where a wing of B-52s with napalm would be anything like what’s needed.

MelonCollie on December 10, 2012 at 12:04 AM

We have a huge…huge Somali population,as does Milwaukee I think…that complex is nice..(I am in that business) and since inventory is scarce all over..what I can’t figure out is…how they have any vacancies at all…strange…strange..also busloads of them were brought to the polling center to vote early….not speaking English..not citizens…

Xango Annie on December 10, 2012 at 2:17 AM

Exit question: But what does ISI get in return from us?

More American funny money. Hot off the presses.

trigon on December 10, 2012 at 7:01 AM