Major U.S. news media reported that Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri was killed Sept. 7 by a predator drone strike, quoting U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials. But some of those officials are reassessing their judgment after a man identified as Kashmiri gave an interview to the Asia Times.
“While there were preliminary indications that Kashmiri may have been dead, there is now reason to believe that he could be alive,” a senior U.S. official told The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing intelligence matters. “It’s not always an open-and-shut case.”
The apparent resurrection of the Kashmiri terrorist suggests that the U.S. strategy of drone attacks on al Qaeda leaders can lead to false confidence that targets have been killed. U.S. officials have reported killing more than a dozen of the 20 top militant leaders in the past year.