FACTBOX: Al Qaeda's Kashmiri killed in U.S. drone strike in Pakistan

Reuters, Saturday 4 Jun 2011

Senior Al-Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri, regarded as one of the most dangerous militants in the world, was killed by a U.S. drone aircraft missile strike in Pakistan, a Pakistani intelligence official and media said on Saturday

The death of the Pakistani militant was another intelligence coup for the United States after U.S. special forces killed Osama bin Laden in a town close to Islamabad on May 2.

Here are some facts about Kashmiri:

* Kashmiri is considered to be a top al Qaeda operative and one of the world's most dangerous and effective militants. He is said to be a former Pakistani military officer.

* He is high on the U.S. list of most wanted militants. The U.S. Department of State has labelled Kashmiri a "specially designated global terrorist".

* The Pakistani media has speculated that Kashmiri was the mastermind of a militant siege of the PNS Mehran naval base in Pakistan's commercial hub and biggest city Karachi last month which humiliated the Pakistani military.

In that operation, six militants held off 100 security forces, including commandos, for 16 hours.
In some ways, Kashmiri's efficiency on the ground makes him far more dangerous than more high profile al Qaeda figures, like its number two Ayman al Zawahiri.

* The United States said his group, Harkat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI), has provided fighters for the Afghan Taliban, who are fighting U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan.

* The U.S. says he has backed operations against Pakistani government personnel and facilities and its premier the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) security agency.

* HUJI was behind the March 2006 suicide bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi which killed four people and wounded 48, the U.S. State Department alleged.

* Kashmiri also seems to have had ambitions to attack Western targets abroad. Last year, the U.S. attorney's office in a statement quoted a Chicago taxi driver charged with sending money to Kashmiri as saying the militant told him he "wanted to train operatives to conduct attacks in the United States".

* The U.S. has charged Kashmiri with helping to plot an attack against a Danish newspaper that published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad which angered many Muslims.

* According to U.S. prosecutors, Kashmiri has met David Headley -- a Pakistani-American who has admitted to scouting targets for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai -- and supported the Danish plot.

* Kashmiri, believed to be in his 40s, lost an eye fighting Soviet occupation troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s and his group has fought Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region.

* He has appeared in photographs, wearing sunglasses, and sporting a long, thick beard.

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