The death of a senior al-Qaeda leader in a US drone strike in Pakistans tribal area signalled that the US-Pakistan intelligence partnership is still in operation despite political tensions.
The January 10 strike was a result of joint operations,a Pakistani security source said. Pakistani spotters on the ground were used,and the strike displayed a level of coordination that both sides have sought to downplay since tensions began in January 2011 with the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor. Our working relationship is a bit different from our political relationship, the source said,requesting anonymity. Its more productive.
US and Pakistani sources said the target of the January 10 attack was Aslam Awan,a Pakistani national from Abbottabad. The strike broke an undeclared eight-week hiatus in drone attacks. The source,who says he runs a network of spotters in North and South Waziristan,described for the first time how US-Pakistani cooperation works. We run a network of human intelligence sources, he said. We monitor their cell and satellite phones and run joint monitoring operations with our US and UK friends, he added,noting extemsive cooperation with British intelligence.
Pakistani and US intelligence officers then hash out a joint targets list in face-to-face meetings, he said. He declined to say where meetings take place. Once a target is identified,his network coordinates with US drone operators,he said. From spotting to firing,the process takes two to three hours.
Somalia drone strike kills UK Qaeda militant
Mogadishu: A US drone strike killed a British al-Qaeda member fighting alongside insurgents in Somalia,officials said. Three missiles fired from an unmanned aerial vehicle hit Bilal al-Berjawis car on the outskirts of Mogadishu,according to a statement from the insurgent al-Kataib media foundation late Saturday. Berjawi was a Lebanese and British citizen who grew up in West London and fought in Afghanistan before going to Somalia in 2006. AP