A top al-Qaida leader who allegedly planned to bomb passenger trains in New York and London has been killed in a raid by Pakistani troops near the Afghan border, according to the government in Islamabad.
A statement by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations said Adnan Shukrijumah was killed in the raid in the Sheen Warsak region of South Waziristan in west central Pakistan.
Pakistan’s English-language daily Dawn says Shukrijumah is the highest-ranking al-Qaida member ever to have been killed by the Pakistani military.
“His accomplice and local facilitator were also killed in the raid,” the government statement said, according to Dawn.
Shukrijumah, 39, is a Saudi national on the FBI’s “most wanted” list. He is the head of al-Qaida’s external operations, a position once held by Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The State Department has offered up to a $5 million reward for Shukrijumah’s capture.
The Associated Press reports that “Shukrijumah lived in South Florida in the late 1990s, and during that time the FBI says he became convinced that he must participate in ‘jihad,’ or holy war. The FBI tried to arrest him in 2003, but he had already left the country. Experts say what made him dangerous was his firsthand knowledge of the United States.”
The FBI says on its “most wanted” website says that Shukrijumah “was indicted in the Eastern District of New York in July of 2010 for his alleged role in a terrorist plot to attack targets in the United States and the United Kingdom. The charges reveal that the plot against New York City’s subway system, uncovered in September of 2009, was directed by senior Al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan and was also directly related to a scheme by Al-Qaeda plotters in Pakistan to use Western operatives to attack a target in the United States.”