U.S. Predators May Have Killed Al Qaeda's Commander in Afghanistan
Reports indicate that Sheikh Fateh al Masri may have been killed in an attack on Sept. 21.
7:49 PM, Sep 28, 2010 • By BILL ROGGIO
Unmanned U.S. Predator drones and the newer model Reapers have been real busy in Pakistan over the past month. The United States has launched 21 Predators strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas since Sept. 1, and with two days to go in September, is close to doubling the next most active month (the previous record was 11 strikes in January 2010).
The U.S. may have scored a big hit in a strike in the Datta Khel area in North Waziristan. Reports from Pakistan indicate that Sheikh Fateh al Masri, al Qaeda's leader in a Afghanistan and Pakistan, may have been killed in the attack on Sept. 21.
Sheikh Fateh al Masri replaced Mustafa Abu Yazid, who was killed by U.S. Predators in May. It seems that leading al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan has gotten a lot more dangerous.
The United States has relied on Predators and Reapers to keep al Qaeda's external operations network at bay. But airpower is no substitute for having boots on the ground and controlling territory. As long as the Taliban, which shelters al Qaeda, controls vast regions in Pakistan, and the Pakistani military refuses to take action against these terror network, the threat of terror attacks in the United States and Europe will remain high.
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