Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Ben Saul
Chapter 31: Victims’ redress amid terrorism’s changing tactics and strategies
It seems that on 3 June 2011, Ilyas Kashmiri, veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war, leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami and possible successor to Osama bin Laden as head of Al Qaeda, and whom bin Laden reportedly asked to assassinate United States President Barack Obama, was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region. Only a few days later, on 8 June 2011, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, subject of an Interpol arrest warrant for his suspected participation in the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa, was killed along with another person following a firefight at a Mogadishu security checkpoint. Yet another key Al Qaeda operative, Atiya Abdul Rahman, second-in-command under new leader Ayman Al Zawahiri, seems to have been killed on 22 August 2011 in Pakistan by a US drone, as later confirmed by Al Zawahiri in a video message. This was soon followed by the killing of American radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki, Al Qaeda’s Arabian Peninsula chief of external operations, on 30 September 2011 in Yemen by an air-to-ground Hellfire missile launched from a US drone. Also killed was Samir Khan, the editor of Inspire, an English language online extreme Islamist magazine, who was perhaps the most influential propagandist for Al Qaeda.
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