While al-Qaeda remained silent about the death of one of its senior leaders, a former Pakistani intelligence chief condemned the US for the killing and dismissed its significance in the so-called war on terror.
A missile strike, believed to have been targeted by a missile from a CIA Predator aircraft , killed Abu Laith al-Libi near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, on the Afghan border this week.
He was widely regarded as one of the senior leaders in al-Qaeda’s hierarchy and his death was a victory for the US in its anti-terrorist offensive.
Pakistan’s armed forces public relations’ chief refused to comment on the killing and Pakistan’s interior minister Hamid Nawaz denied any knowledge of the attack.
But former head of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service, retired Lt. General Hamid Gul condemned the attack saying the CIA had violated the “sanctity of Pakistan’s borders’ and Pakistan should protest.
In an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI), Gul said it was not the first time that the CIA drones had violated Pakistan’s borders and such action was unacceptable.
ï¿½?They have laser guided system and imagery intelligence through which their task forces spot the target, ” Gul told AKI.
“Through the same system they targeted Nek Mohammed, Pakistani Taliban commander in South Waziristan, Hamza Rabia, al-Qaeda leader in North Waziristan,” he said.
“Now they have carried out this strike in North Waziristan in which they claim to have killed a senior al-Qaeda leader.ï¿½?
Gul was head of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence service between 1987 and 1989 and worked closely with the CIA during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
He reportedly became disillusioned with the US when it failed to follow through on Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal and called on Muslims to “stand united to confront the US in its war on terror” after the September 11 attacks.
Gul said he did not agree with media reports that al-Libi was a very significant commander.
“I have serious reservations when they maintain that they hit a target which was number one or two or three in al-Qaeda hierarchy,” Gul told AKI.
Gul said that the US gave a boost to an incident or a personality when they hit a target and drum the beat of their successes.
“Previously they said the same for Abu Zubaida and Abu Faraj Al-Libi. Both were arrested and to date there is no mention of their (terror) operation.
“Go back to 1998 when Sadiq Hawaida was arrested from Karachi. He was handed over to US. He was charged with the American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
“Is there anybody who has ever heard in the last so many years about Sadiq Hawaida?ï¿½?