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Badr Mansoor, al-Qaeda commander in Pakistan, reported killed
Badr one of five commanders killed in Miranshah, N. Waziristan, officials say
By Zahir Shah
MIRANSHAH- Al-Qaeda’s top commander in Pakistan, Badr Mansoor, was killed February 9 in Miranshah, North Waziristan.
Four other top commanders in the main headquarters of the al-Qaeda-linked Punjabi Taliban Badr Mansoor group were also killed. The headquarters was near Zafar Colony and the Miranshah Bazaar.
Badr Mansoor was actually Qari Imran, a resident of Multan. He adopted the name of Badr Mansoor one year ago to honour the founder of the Badr Mansoor group. The actual Badr Mansoor was killed in 2010.
Those killed have been identified as Qari Fayaz, Maulvi Faisal Khursani, Qari Mushtaq and Yasir Khurasani, who were some of the top commanders of the Badr Mansoor Group, and were blamed for attacks on coalition troops in Afghanistan, Dawn News reported, quoting intelligence sources.
A Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) source confirmed to Central Asia Online that Badr was one of the five people killed.
“We have removed the bodies from the house, and Badr Mansoor was among the killed while a woman and a girl child were injured,” a TTP commander said, requesting anonymity.
The Badr Mansoor group has been closely affiliated with al-Qaeda and has claimed more than 2,200 members with 350 hardcore fighters and more than 150 suicide bombers.
This group has been carrying out attacks with (Harkat-ul-) Jihad-al-Islami and is considered to be the main Al-Qaeda operative in the Pakistani tribal areas, mostly placed in and around Miranshah in Boya, Datakhel, Mir Ali, Tapi and other areas. Badr Mansoor has also close ties with the Afghan Taliban’s Haqqani Network.
Security and political administration officials contacted by Central Asia Online refused to confirm or deny Badr’s death.
The death will have an impact on al-Qaeda operations. “He may not be so important but was one of the top al-Qaeda operatives, and his death would weaken the already shattered al-Qaeda operations in the region,” former Secretary Security Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Brigadier Mehmood Shah told Central Asia Online.
“After al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's death, the organsation is already tattered and its footprint has weakened in this region,” he added.
Shah said a replacement for Badr will come soon, “as these groups have a lot of shadow leaders, one thing is certain... the link between the Pakistani-al-Qaeda operative and the main organisation will definitely suffer.”
“I think after successful attacks on ground and the missile strikes, the al-Qaeda top command has become redundant and they are on the run towards Yemen and Somalia, so the less important people may keep a small presence to keep their fighter morale high, but I believe the continuing killing of their top operatives means things are not shaping up well for them,” he said.
Amir Rena, the director of Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based security think tank, agreed.
“The death of the shadow Badr Mansoor will definitely affect al-Qaeda operations in Pakistan as they had been increasing attacks inside Pakistan for the last few months.”
“I believe the security situation in Pakistan will improve as this man was one of the top operatives and al-Qaeda main command and control will definitely be affected, “he said. “...it’s a good sign for Pakistan’s security environment.”
“After (the deaths of) Iyas Kashmiri and ...founder Badr Mansoor and Qari Zafar’s death who were affiliated with Harkatul Mujahdeen and with al-Qaeda through Jihad Islami, things had already been bad for al-Qaeda here. And now Qari Imran’s death is also another blow to their operation in the region and a good sign for peace for the region,” he added.