US attack killed Al-Qaida leader's kin
Updated: 2006-02-13 09:11
A U.S. missile strike on a Pakistani village last month killed a relative of
al-Qaida's No. 2 leader and a terror suspect wanted by America, Pakistan's
leader said Saturday, breaking weeks of silence about the identities of the men.
The nighttime attack ¡ª which also killed a dozen residents, including women
and children ¡ª outraged Pakistanis, who complained it violated the nation's
Until now, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf had only said "foreigners" died in
the Jan. 13 strike in the northwestern town of Bajur, near the Afghan border.
But he provided more details Saturday while visiting northwestern Pakistan,
though he did not name the dead terror suspects.
"Five foreigners were killed in the U.S. attack in Bajur," Musharraf told
tribal elders in the city of Charsada. "One of them was a close relative of
Ayman al-Zawahri and the other man was wanted by the U.S. and had a $5 million
reward on his head."
The Pakistani president added that al-Zawahri ¡ª al-Qaida's No. 2 leader ¡ª was
also expected to be in the town, where the suspects were meeting for a dinner.
But Pakistani officials have said al-Zawahri skipped the event and instead sent
In this picture released by Pakistan Press Information
Department, Pakistani State Minister for Water and Power Amir Muqam,
right, explains a point to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, left, during a
ceremony in Charsadda town, near Peshawar, Pakistan on Saturday, Feb. 11,
Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian, is Osama bin Laden's personal physician and top
adviser. Both are believed to be hiding in the mountainous border region between
Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Pakistani intelligence officials have told The Associated Press that the two
men were Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar and Abdul Rehman al-Maghribi.
Al-Maghribi was a Moroccan and relative of al-Zawahri, possibly his
Umar, 52, an Egyptian, has been cited by the U.S. Justice Department as an
explosives expert and poisons instructor. He is suspected of training hundreds
of mujahedeen, or holy warriors, at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan before the
ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime in late 2001.
Musharraf did not say how he knew that the two men died in the attack.
Pakistani officials have said that sympathizers buried the five bodies at an
undisclosed location that authorities have been unable to find.
The Americans and Pakistanis have provided little information about the
attack. Unmanned Predator drones flying from Afghanistan reportedly fired the
Pakistan has maintained it was not given advance word of the airstrike, and
the Foreign Ministry lodged a protest with the U.S.
Musharraf on Saturday defended his country's role in the U.S.-led war on
"We are not doing it just to appease Americans," he added. "We are pursuing a
campaign against terrorism because it is against our own safety."
Other terror suspects believed to have died in the Jan. 13 strike were Abu
Obaidah al-Masri, the al-Qaida chief responsible for attacks on U.S. forces in
eastern Afghanistan; and Khalid Habib, an al-Qaida operations chief along the
Afghan-Pakistan border. It was not clear who the fifth person was.
The men were gathering in Bajur to plan a new wave attacks this summer in
Afghanistan and Pakistan, Pakistani officials have said.