A top al Qaeda commander has been killed in Pakistan during a predawn raid Saturday by the country’s military, Pakistan’s army told NBC News.
Adnan el Shukrijumah was indicted in the United States in 2010 for allegedly plotting terror attacks in the U.S. and Britain, including a foiled plan to bomb the New York City subway.
A senior Pakistan military official told NBC News the killing of Shukrijumah, 39, was a “huge loss” to the al Qaeda terror group.
Shukrijumah, who was in charge of the group’s global operations, was on the FBI’s list of “most wanted terrorists,” with a $5 million reward for his capture. He “should be considered armed and dangerous,” according to the FBI.
U.S. prosecutors charged that in 2008, Shukrijumah recruited three men to receive training in Pakistan to avenge the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. They then returned to the U.S. for a planned suicide bombing against a major target, and eventually decided on the New York City subway, according to federal court testimony. The plot was uncovered in September 2009.
In 2004, John Aschroft, the U.S. Attorney General at the time, called Shukrijumah “a clear and present danger” to the U.S. The previous year, while he was studying at a Florida community college, the FBI had tried to arrest him as a material witness to a terrorism case, but he had left the country.
Shukrijumah was killed in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan. Local villagers told NBC News that Pakistani troops encircled the area early Saturday and told residents to stay at home until further notice.