Operatives of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan intelligence agency, have killed Mohammad Hanif, also known as Abdullah, who was a senior leader of al-Qaeda for the Indian Subcontinent, in Bakwa district of the western Farah province, the NDS said in a tweet.
The tweet posted today, November 10, claimed that the Al-Qaeda leader was given a safe haven and protection by the Taliban. “Hanif, from Karachi, Pakistan, was a very close aide to Asim Omar. He also was deputy Amir for AQIS for a period,” the NDS detailed about him.
According to the NDS, Hanif was primarily a Taliban member and joined Al-Qaeda network after 2010. It further noted that the Al-Qaeda leader was training the Taliban militants with skills of making explosives and operated in Farah, Helmand, and Nimroz provinces.
The Afghan intelligence agency also said that its operatives have arrested two women, who are citizens of Pakistan, during the operation against the senior Al-Qaeda leader.
This comes days after NDS special operatives killed Husam Abd-al-Rauf, known as Abu Mohsin al-Masri, another key member of Al-Qaeda and a close figure to Al-Zawahiri, in the southern Ghazni province.
The head of the US National Counter-Terrorism Center, Chris Miller, confirmed al-Masri’s death in a statement, saying his “removal … from the battlefield is a major setback to a terrorist organization that is consistently experiencing strategic losses facilitated by the United States and its partners”.