Islamabad: Al-Qaida’s chief of global operations – who was indicted in the US over a plot to bomb New York’s subway system – has been killed in an army raid in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region.
Adnan Shukrijumah was killed, along with two other suspected militants, in Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal area early on Saturday.
A senior Pakistani army officer said: “The al-Qaida leader, who was killed by the Pakistan army in a successful operation, is the same person who had been indicted in the United Stated.” .
The FBI lists the 39-year-old Saudi as a “most wanted” terrorist and had offered up to a $5 million reward for his capture.
Federal prosecutors in the US allege Shukrijumah had recruited the three men in 2008 to receive training in South Waziristan for the New York attack. The New York indictment links him to the Manhattan plot and a similar never-executed scheme to attack the London underground.
Attorney General Eric Holder has called that plot one of the most dangerous since the terrorist attacks of September 11.
After the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, Shukrijumah was seen as one of al-Qaida’s best chances to attack inside the US or Europe, captured terrorist Abu Zubaydah told US authorities. Shukrijumah studied at a community college in Florida but when the FBI showed up to arrest him as a material witness to a terrorism case in 2003, he had already left the country.
In 2004, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft called Shukrijumah a “clear and present danger” to the United States.