The New Bin Laden

By Yousafzai, Ron Moreau Sami; Dickey, Christopher | Newsweek, November 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

The New Bin Laden


Yousafzai, Ron Moreau Sami, Dickey, Christopher, Newsweek


Byline: Sami Yousafzai, Ron Moreau, and Christopher Dickey

The terrorist behind recent scares in Europe and America has a grim record--and a knack for staying alive.

Evil geniuses are a rare breed, even in the ranks of Al Qaeda. Those few who planned the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen 10 years ago and the atrocities in America on September 11, 2001, were killed or captured by the spring of 2003, and Osama bin Laden has been hard pressed ever since to recruit anyone able to take their place. But now, at last, he seems to have found his man, and that's a major reason intelligence services from Washington to Paris to Islamabad have been acting so jittery of late.

Ilyas Kashmiri, 46, has the experience, the connections, and a determination to attack the West--including the United States--that make him the most dangerous Qaeda operative to emerge in years. "This guy ties everybody together," says a veteran U.S. intelligence officer who has been watching Kashmiri's rise to prominence closely but is not authorized to speak publicly. Kashmiri fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, and the Indians in Kashmir and in India itself. He also worked with the Pakistani intelligence service, but turned on Islamabad with a vengeance in 2003, trying to murder then-president Pervez Musharraf. Since then Kashmiri has been linked to planned attacks in Denmark, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, most probably Chicago.

Today, Pakistani intelligence assets on the ground and American drones in the air hunt Kashmiri relentlessly in the ungoverned tribal areas near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. Pakistani officials fear that if Kashmiri carries out another major attack on India or in the West, their country could suffer massive retaliation. A senior Pakistani military officer who tracks militants, and declines to be named for security reasons, says Kashmiri's "skill, his leadership, and his wide relations with Pakistani and foreign militants make him the most dangerous man for Pakistan, Europe, and the U.S." Kashmiri agrees. After erroneous reports that he'd been killed in September 2009, he gave an interview and gloated that the Americans were right to pursue him. "They know their enemy well," he said. "They know what I am really up to."

Born in the Pakistani-controlled section of Kashmir in 1964, this veteran terrorist lost an index finger and one of his eyes during the fight against the Soviets in the 1980s. In such photographs as exist, he's often shown wearing aviator sunglasses. He reportedly changes the color of his thick beard frequently, and it may be white or dyed red with henna, or then again dyed black. But his imposing presence and the deference shown him can still make him stand out.

According to Hafiz Hanif, the pseudonym of a 16-year-old Afghan who fought in Al Qaeda's ranks last year, Kashmiri's status as a bin Laden favorite was obvious. Kashmiri rode in a new four-wheel-drive pickup truck flying a white flag. Most of the Qaeda leadership is from the Arab world, not South Asia, but Kashmiri attended nearly all the top-secret terrorist summits held in North Waziristan. Hanif, who often acted as a bodyguard for a high-ranking Libyan Qaeda leader, says Kashmiri was the only non-Arab he saw attending strategy sessions. "He came to the most restricted meetings of the Arab mujahedin," Hanif told Newsweek last week. "He could go to meetings and to areas that were off-limits to some Arab Al Qaeda leaders."

Kashmiri is so active organizing and carrying out guerrilla-style attacks that the jihadis have taken to calling him "the commando commander," says Hanif. The key to such operations is preparation, and Kashmiri is an acknowledged master. "Kashmiri is the most experienced person in planning, choosing targets, and getting men ready," says one Pakistani intelligence officer. His reputation for murder and mayhem in the subcontinent goes back years, but--this is what has set off alarm bells in Europe--his current project is to nurture jihadis from the West. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The New Bin Laden
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.