by Florian Flade
Sometimes it only takes own word to solve a mystery – in this case: “rahimullah”. Ilyas Kashmiri, one of the most notorious Al-Qaida terrorists, was killed on June 3 2011 by a US drone strike in the Pakistani tribal areas – or wasn´t he?
While the US intelligence agency was pretty sure the strike did indeed kill the high-ranking Al-Qaida figure, Pakistani media started doubting the reports. Even after a video surfaced allegedly showing Kashmiri´s dead body, rumours started to spread saying the US drone did not succeed in killing the former leader of “Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami” and presumed chief planner of Al-Qaida´s external operations.
Pakistan´s newspaper “Daily Times” was the latest media outlet spreading reports Kashmiri was still alive. The paper reported Ilyas Kashmiri recently attended a meeting held by the Tehrik e-Taliban (TTP) in the North Waziristan Agency.
Al-Qaida now puts an end to the rumours of “Did we really kill Ilyas Kashmiri?”. On March 14 the organization´s media wing “As-Sahab” released an audio tape by Al-Qaida´s Pakistani cleric and ideologue Ustadh Ahmad Farooq. The tape titled “On the Martyrdom of Mullah Ubaydullah Akhund”.
Farooq talks about the death of former Taliban defense minister Mullah Ubaydullah Akhund who reportedly died in a Pakistani intelligence prison in Karachi. The Al-Qaida operative claims Pakistan´s military and ISI is fully allied with the United States in killing Mujahidin.
“Pakistani Jihadi leaders like Ameer Baitullah Mehsud, Commander Ilyas Kashmiri, Commander Binyamin and Commander Badr Mansoor (may Allah have mercy upon them) are targeted in drone attacks and similarly the son of the respected Afghan leader Jalaluddin Haqqani”
“May Allah have mercy upon him” – the single Arabic term “rahimullah” – clearly indicates Ilyas Kashmiri was indeed killed in the July 2011 US drone strike.
To all those supporters of the conspiracy theories: Al-Qaida says Kashmiri is dead, so he is probably dead.