World Headlines
Number Two Al-Qaeda Leader Dead
By Amy Oppenheim
Apr 26, 2011 - 10:55:22 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan—A top insurgent in Afghanistan for the al-Qaeda forces was killed in a coalition airstrike this month, reported by NATO on April 26.


Abu Hafs al-Najdi (Abdul Ghani), courtesy of the Mystery of Interior's most wanted list
Saudi Arabian national Abu Hafs al-Najdi, also known as Abdul Ghani, gained notoriety as the “number two overall targeted insurgent in Afghanistan,” according to a press release from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.


Ghani worked out of the Kunar province and operated between Afghanistan and Pakistan, performing tasks such as “recruiting; training and employing fighters; obtaining weapons and equipment; organizing al-Qaida finances; and planning attacks against Afghan and coalition forces,” according to the press release.


Ghani, along with many other insurgents, was killed during the airstrike in the Dangam district in Kunar Province on April 13. He was responsible for coordinating numerous high profile attacks, and on the morning of his death he reportedly ordered the suicide attack that killed tribal elder Malik Zarin, as well as nine other Afghan citizens.


The press release also states that Ghani often “instructed subordinate leaders to conduct kidnapping operations against foreigners traveling between Asmar and Asadabad, and he was responsible for directing suicide bomb attacks targeting U.S. government officials.”


Ghani had been the target of coalition forces since 2007, and at the time of his death, he was planning an insurgent attack with al-Qaeda leader Waqas, who was also killed in the April 13 airstrike.


In the past month, coalition forces have killed more than 25 al-Qaeda leaders and fighters, and ISAF has stated that Abdul Ghani’s death “marks a significant milestone in the disruption of the al-Qaida network.”

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