Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another Success

The BBC Urdu Service reports that dreaded terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri, the main architect behind the Pakistani jihadists' global network, has been killed by a US drone attack in the South Waziristan region in Pakistan's FATA. Kashmiri's organization HuJI has also confirmed his death.

Kashmiri holds the distinction of being one of the most wanted militants in no less than four countries - America, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Kashmiri's 313 Brigade - named after the number of soldiers in Muhammad's Army that conquered pagan Mecca - has been accused of carrying out major attacks in India and Afghanistan. Kashmiri himself has been accused by David Headley of being a co-conspirator in 26/11.

The death of such a senior Al Qaeda leader coming in the wake of Osama bin Laden's dramatic killing is sure to cause a severe dent to the terrorist organization. Kashmiri had a $5 mn bounty on his head and supposedly planned the recent attack on PNS Mehran in Karachi. His skill and experience were vital to Al Qaeda and his death will present a major challenge. As the jihadist network weakens, the time is ripe for Pakistan to launch an operation in North Waziristan, which might lead to the final body blow required to bring down Al Qaeda itself.

This will of course, require huge will from the Pakistani side. However, since the Abbotabad incident, International patience is thinning on Pakistan's duplicity. It would be wise to take on the real nerve-centre of terrorism in Waziristan. Till then, the world depends on American drone strikes.

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