Terrorist network al-Qaeda has claimed that it exchanged two daughters of its chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and a third unknown woman weeks ago for the son of General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, former chief of Pakistan Army. The news was featured in Al Masra, a news magazine that reports extensively on the terror group. A report in ‘The Long War Journal’ also quoted the al Masra to say the same. However, no media outlet in Pakistan has reported on Kayani’s son being kidnapped by the terror group.
The Al Masra report included tweets of a possible al-Qaeda operative using the account @muhager_o which accused the Pakistani army of capturing Zawahiri’s daughters as part of the war it is waging against al-Qaeda. The tweets announced the exchange of the daughters and the son and also bashed the “boastful” Pakistani army. The account has reportedly been suspended.
The claim also said while initially the Pakistani army wasn’t relenting to the exchange, it eventually did. Reports indicate the announcement of the release of Zawahiri’s daughters was made early in August 2016. The women were returned to Egypt.
Hints of such an exchange are found in an interview of Ali Haider Gilani, son of former Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. In May 2016, he was rescued three years after he was captured by al-Qaeda. He told Pakistani news outlet Dawn that he was kidnapped in exchange for “the release of some women from Ayman al-Zawahiri’s family…and a hefty sum.”