Al Qaeda 'facilitator' killed in Kunar airstrike
Written by Bill Roggio on September 17, 2012 9:42 AM to 1 The Long War Journal
Available online at: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/09/al_qaeda_facilitator_1.php
An al Qaeda facilitator was among several jihadist leaders killed in three separate airstrikes on Saturday in the terrorist haven of Kunar province in northeastern Afghanistan.
Asadullah, an "al Qaeda-associated facilitator," was killed in "a precision airstrike" that was directed by Coalition and Afghan special operations forces in the Asadabad district in Kunar on Sept. 15, the International Security Assistance Force stated in a press release.
ISAF said that Asadullah "supported operations of terrorist networks, organizing and conducting attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the Watahpur Valley" and was "believed to be behind an Aug. 8 suicide attack."
The Aug. 8 suicide attack killed the command sergeant major for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, two majors on the brigade staff, and a USAID employee. The attack took place outside the governor's compound in Asadabad.
Asadullah was an "Afghan Pashtun," ISAF's Joint Command Media Operations team told The Long War Journal. He is the second Afghan member of al Qaeda killed or captured by special operations forces in the past week. On Sept. 12, an al Qaeda weapons expert was captured during an operation in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika.
Al Qaeda operatives and leaders often serve as embedded military trainers for Taliban field units and impart tactics and bomb-making skills to these forces. In addition, al Qaeda frequently supports the Taliban by funding operations and providing weapons and other aid. [See LWJ report, Al Qaeda's paramilitary 'Shadow Army,' for more information on al Qaeda's role in Afghanistan.]
Two other Taliban operatives were killed in airstrikes in Kunar on Sept. 15. An airstrike in Bar Kunar district killed Mahmood and "more than a dozen armed insurgents," ISAF said. Mahmood was "behind the May 11 insider attack that killed one coalition service member."
The May 11 green-on-blue attack took place in Kunar and resulted in the death of one US soldier; two other soldiers were wounded. Mahmood fled to the Taliban, and on Aug. 7 the Taliban released a video showing him being welcomed as a hero [see Threat Matrix report, Observations on Taliban video 'welcoming' rogue ANA soldiers].
Also killed in an airstrike in Kunar on Saturday was Mullah Jalal, the Taliban's shadow governor for Ghaziabad district. ISAF said that Jalal had "issued plans to increase attacks against Afghan and Coalition security forces" and "met frequently with other Taliban senior leaders to discuss strategies against the local Afghan forces."
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