Al-Qaeda chief Adnan el Shukrijumah 'killed in Pakistan'

  • 6 December 2014
  • From the section Asia
Adnan el Shukrijumah Image copyright US Department of Defense
Image caption The FBI called Shukrijumah a 'most-wanted' terrorist

A senior al-Qaeda militant, accused of planning to bomb trains in New York and London, has been killed in Pakistan, the country's military says.

Adnan el Shukrijumah was killed in a raid in north-western Pakistan, near the Afghan border, the military said.

The FBI describes him as al-Qaeda's global operations chief, a post once held by the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Shukrijumah was born in Saudi Arabia and lived for several years in the US.

He was named in a US federal indictment as a conspirator in the case against three men accused of plotting suicide bomb attacks on New York's subway system in 2009.

He is also suspected of having played a role in plotting al-Qaeda attacks in Panama, Norway and the UK.

Analysis: M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad

The killing of Adnan el Shukrijumah is the first major militant casualty since June when the Pakistani military launched a major operation to clean up the largest militant sanctuary on the country's soil.

It comes days after Pakistani army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif returned from a week-long visit of the US, the first by an army chief in four years. On Thursday, the US Congress extended $1bn (£642m) in operational support to Pakistani army despite recent tensions and mistrust.

The killing also puts the spotlight back on the western half of South Waziristan, the first militant sanctuary in Pakistan where al-Qaeda and Taliban groups fleeing American bombing in October 2001 took shelter. Shukrijumah's killing in an army raid in this region shows that it is now being used as a hideout by militants fleeing the military offensive in North Waziristan.

Local militant groups still control territory here, and are still considered largely friendly to the army, but now there may be more persistent questions over this relationship.

Profile: Adnan el Shukrijumah

Al-Qaeda's remaining leaders

Pakistan's military said two other militants were killed in the raid on Saturday. One soldier was also reportedly killed, and another was hurt.

A military statement said the "intelligence-borne operation" took place in the Shinwarsak region of South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan.

The region is a base for the Pakistani Taliban and its allies.

Pakistan's military launched an offensive in June against militants in neighbouring North Waziristan.

Shukrijumah is alleged to have been in charge of planning al-Qaeda attacks outside Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A Saudi national, he spent more than 15 years in the US, moving there when his father took up a post at a Brooklyn mosque. The family later moved to Florida.

In the late 1990s, he is thought to have left for militant training camps in Afghanistan.

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