Senior Al Qaeda Leader(s) Killed in Damadola

It appears we got an Algerian Al Qaeda leader in the Damadola village hellfire strike last week, this is the third one in the area. ( as reported here in February.)  Jammie Wearing Fool has more

The Algerian, known by the nickname Abu Sulayman Jazairi, apparently died May 14 in the strike that killed as many as 14 people and destroyed a compound near the village of Damadola, an Al Qaeda stronghold in northwestern Pakistan, officials said. A knowledgeable U.S. official and a senior European anti-terrorism official said Jazairi was thought to be dead.

U.S. anti-terrorism forces are targeting front-line planners in Pakistani hide-outs, and Jazairi would be another in a series of recent losses for the Al Qaeda leadership, the two officials said.

More also at the Asia Times:

US intelligence is closely monitoring the area, acutely aware of its importance. The strike had some success, taking out two senior al-Qaeda leaders – Sheikh Osman, know for his amputated hand, and Sheikh Soliman. However, a famous Taliban commander, Dost Muhammad, escaped unhurt. **

** Note that when you read an article by Syed you will be reading the Taliban’s agitprop — sometimes they lie, sometimes they don’t; so you will find nuggets of truth in his articles. I don’t think Syed lies but he is sympathetic, and prints verbatim what they tell him.

Update: More from the Pakistan Daily times:

They said the Algerian, known by the nickname Abu Sulayman Jazairi, apparently died on May 14 in the strike that killed 14 people and destroyed a compound near the village of Damadola.

A knowledgeable US official and a senior European anti-terrorism official told the Times that Jazairi was thought to be dead.

They said that US anti-terrorism forces were targeting frontline planners in Pakistani hideouts, and Jazairi would be another in a series of recent losses for the Al Qaeda leadership.

“He was a significant person within the Al Qaeda ranks,” said the European official, requesting anonymity. “Not in the top five, but he’s up there. The suspicion is he was one of those individuals involved in training and targeting Western interests. There is uncorroborated intelligence that he was involved in plots against Europe.”

According to the Times, officials declined to discuss last week’s operation because of political tension in Pakistan over US airstrikes. In fact, it added, some doubt lingers about the identity of the man killed. The report referred to a statement of a senior Pakistani official in which he said he believed the slain man was not the Algerian but another foreign militant.

Despite the confusion, the US and European officials told the paper that their information about the militant’s identity seemed solid.

“There are good reasons to think that Al Jazairi is dead,” the US official said. The European official said that there recently had been allusions to Jazairi’s death on radical websites.

Explosives expert: Jazairi was an explosives expert and “important terrorist trainer”, the US official said.

“When it comes to training, this individual was an important figure … People like him are vital to terrorist plots. That doesn’t mean he can’t be replaced. But when Al Qaeda loses someone with his experience, it matters.”

UPDATE: More at The Long War Journal

Another Grim Jihadi Milestone

Milestones -- the philosophy of the Muslim BrotherhoodIn another grim Islamist Terror group milestone, 902 muslims were killed in April, and another 1208 were maimed and injured. Indeed, since these numbers are compiled from news reports, some of the injured could have slipped into the death column after the news was reported, and many likely did.

The Islamists kidnapped and tortured some of these muslims, and the reports come from the following places:

Pakistan, Algeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, The West Bank, Sudan, Lebanon, and the Kashmir. I’ve excluded incidents where non-muslims were killed, but the number of those deaths is less than a tenth of the number of muslims killed, tortured, and maimed.

Muslims at some point have to ask: if the terrorists are for the Umma, why are they killing so many of them? However that’s almost as silly as asking why a “holy warrior” would wear a mask… It’s evident that they seek temporal power, control, and wealth in the countries they are in, Islamism is good cover for their brutality since it is then supported by even some moderate muslims. After all how can moderates argue with Qutb and the Koran?

Compiled from reports at the Religion of Peace, The Daily Times, AP, and Reuters.

Above you see the book that extends the philosophy which drives many Islamist groups seeking temporal power: Milestones, by Sayid Qutb.

Should MeK be Removed From the Terror Watchlist?

Since Mujahadin-e-Khalq has provided us intelligence on Iranian weapons initiatives, Quds force weapons smuggling, and Revolutionary Guards operations within Iraq there is a movement afoot to get them removed from the Terrorist organization lists in some countries. The intel they provided proved to be not only true over time, but invaluable in some cases. (background here, and here.)

They even have Daniel Pipes pulling for them – a heavy-weight proponent to be sure. I disagree with Daniel however. 

Once a group adapts terror as a means to an end they can never be trusted again – if they show the willingness to let the ends justify the means once, they can, and likely will, again. Should we continue to accept intelligence from them? Surely.  Just as I read El Ehklaas, so too must even terrorist sources of information be used.

That said, there is no redemption for terror groups. Fatah should never have been legitimized, and I don’t care if it’s convenient for political or strategic purposes – terror groups are terror groups. Accepting terrorism from any quarter allows our enemies moral footing, and that should never happen.

So, PKK, IRA, LTTE, MEK, Fatah — still terror groups in my book. If a group wishes to change, remove the leadership, rename, and repurpose with new manifesto that explicitly abjures all forms of terror without equvocation then maybe they could be considered. That’s not the case here.

More background here from Winston in Canada.