To be honest: I was never a huge fan of Syed Saleem Shahzad´s work. His articles in the Asia Times, his inside knowledge of Al-Qaida´s activities, his sources within the Pakistani intelligence community, his suggestions about Bin Laden´s whereabouts – all that to me seemed to be so overstated, so unrealistic, I very much doubted Shahzad´s credibility.
That was for a quite simply reason: it was unbelievable how much this journalist colleague knew in detail about the Jihadi world of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shahzad interviewed Al-Qaida´s Chief planner Ilyas Kashmiri although CIA and ISI claimed he was killed in a U.S. drone strike. How on earth was Syed Saleem Shahzad able to do what he did?
I sent him an e-mail once, asking about his opinion on foreign Jihadi militants in the Waziristan region. Shahzad never responded.
Now Syed Saleem Shahzad is dead. He was kidnapped, tortured and killed. The killers later dumped his dead body on a field in eastern Pakistan where it was found May 30th. Who killed the journalist who dined with terrorists and powerful intelligence officers? There is no question why Shahzad was killed. The answer is: he knew too much – in so many ways.
Read Dexter Filkins´ mind-blowing piece „The Journalist and the Spies“ in The New Yorker to learn more about the case of Syed Saleem Shahzad. Filkins collected all the information available about Shahzad´s work in the weeks leading to his death. He presents a remarkable article taking you deep inside Pakistan´s intelligence world and how one journalist became too dangerous for so many elements of the dirty game that is still going on in that part of the world.
I also advise you to read Shahzad´s last book „Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: 9/11 and Beyond“ to get a glimpse of an idea how detailed and sometimes truely unbelievable this man´s knowledge about Al-Qaida, the Taliban & Co. was.