Al Qaeda-linked militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri, who was reported to have been killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan’s tribal belt last month, is still alive, according to a media report on Saturday.
Kashmiri, chief of the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, is still alive and active in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dawn News channel quoted its sources as saying.Security officials of the US and Pakistan have failed to confirm the death of Kashmiri, the sources said.
The dreaded commander, a key suspect in the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the alleged mastermind of the terrorist strike on a naval airbase in Karachi in May, was reported to have been killed a US drone strike in South Waziristan on June 3.
Questions have been raised about a statement purportedly issued by HuJI about Kashmiri's death. A photograph said to be of Kashmiri's corpse that was issued by HuJI was actually that of a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba team that attacked Mumbai in November 2008. Nearly two years ago, Kashmiri was reported to have been killed in another drone strike but that was debunked later.
Anti-terrorism experts have described Kashmiri as one of al Qaeda’s main operational commanders in Pakistan.