Al-Qaeda leader reported dead found "alive and well"

Published Thursday, March 8, 2012

A senior Al Qaeda leader reported killed by a US drone attack last year is alive and based in North Waziristan, a Pakistani newspaper has reported.

The US army declared Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri, leader head of the Harkat ul Jihad al-Islami (HJI), was killed in a US drone attack near Wana, South Waziristan last year, officials announced.

A statement from the HJI at the time had confirmed the death.

However the Pakistani newspaper Daily Times reported on Wednesday that Kashmiri has been sighted in recent weeks in the North Waziristan region and has held meetings with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

During the meetings, Kashmiri discussed his future strategy, movement and the present situation in Afghanistan, the newspaper reported.

The accuracy of the report is difficult to verify as Pakistan’s volatile tribal areas are no-go areas for journalists.

Kashmiri, who began his career in the Pakistani Army before joining the Taliban, was believed to have masterminded the attack on a naval base in Karachi.

(Al-Akhbar)

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