With the reported death of the Ilyas Kashmiri, one of the most dreaded terrorists, the Pakistan based terror groups find themselves weakened once again.
The death of Osama Bin Laden and now Kashmiri will surely put the Al-Qaeda on a back foot, says Intelligence Bureau sources. However it would be too optimistic to expect that it would be curtains for the Al-Qaeda since they still do have some strong leaders left.
The IB says that while the death of Bin Laden was a huge loss for the Al-Qaeda, the killing of Kashmiri will hurt them more. For one, Bin Laden was not all that active and he was more of a motivator and ideological leader. However that was not the case of Kashmiri, who was still active and a number of terror outfits in Pakistan relied heavily on his training. An expert on the battle ground it is suspected that he is the one who imparted training to the terrorists who staged the 26/11 attack.
Kashmiri used to specialize in Fidayeen strikes and his means were always fierce which made him even more deadly, security agencies also point out.
Now if the news of Kashmiri’s death is confirmed then he leaves behind a huge vaccum which terror outfits in Pakistan may find hard to fill.
Ayman al-Zawahiri: A physician and the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) he opposed the secular Egyptian Government and sought to overthrow the government. In the year 1998 the EIJ merjed with the Al Qaeda.
His prime target has always been the United States of America and this was one of the major reasons why he merged with the Al-Qaeda. Considered to be the successor to Bin Laden, some of his high profile crimes include his role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.
Mullah Omar: There has been conflicting news on this man. A couple of days back it was claimed that he had died, but there is no confirmation till date about the same.
According to the FBI, Mullah Omar’s Taliban regime in Afghanistan sheltered Bin Laden and his al-Qa‘ida network in the years before the 9/11 attacks. Although Operation Enduring Freedom removed the Taliban regime from power, Mullah Omar remains at large and represents a continuing threat to the United States and its allies. Mullah Omar like Bin Laden had become an ideological figure in the last few years. He was not actively involved in warfare but had a big say in the affairs of both the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban
Sirajuddin Haqqani: A top Taliban commander, he announced himself to the world when he took over the Haqqani network from his father Jalaluddin Haqqani. The recent coming together of the Haqqani network and the Al-qaeda had US forces worried since Sirajudin was expected to take over the operations part of the terror group.
The US says that the Haqqani network helped plan the suicide bombing against the C.I.A. base in Afghanistan in December in which C.I.A. operatives and a Jordanian intelligence officer were killed. In addition to this India also believes that he had decided on playing an active part in Kashmir and had been rallying his troops for that battle.
Atia Abdur Rehman: The number three man in the Al-Qaeda today operates out of Pakistan. He was one of the closest associates of Bin Laden and has been controlling operations to a large extent against US forces. He was the Al-Qaeda’s emissary based in Iran before coming into Pakistan to assist Bin Laden.