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US drones brings Iliyas Kashmiri's terror-exploits to an end

PTI
Islamabad, June 4 - Ironical as it may sound but Mohammed Ilyas Kashmir, who wanted to target Lockheed Martin CEO for manufacturing the deadly drones that inflicted a huge toll on militants hiding in Pakistan's restive northwest, was killed by one of the same unmanned flying machines.

Touted to take over the reins of al-Qaeda after killing of Osama bin Laden, his terror-exploits filled career, which included masterminding the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai and brutal killing of an Indian Army officer, assassination of Pakistani top military officials, came to end at Pakistan's South Waziristan late last night when the CIA operated drone machines fired four missiles.
 
Born in January 2, 1964 at Kotli in Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir, Kashmiri left his studies at Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad and started indulging in terror activities to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan during which he lost an eye and a finger in the battlefield.

Initially beginning his terror career with Lashker-e- Taiba, Kashmiri, on whom US announced five million dollars as reward, later formed his own Harkat-e-Jehadi Islami (HuJI) and indulged in terror activities aimed against India.

Wanted by India for killing of a police officer in Ghaziabad in 1994, Kashmiri and his three others had managed to kidnap some foreigners in Delhi.

However, the kidnapping drama could not last long and the foreigners were rescued but he managed to give a slip to the raiding sleuths after killing station house officer of Ghaziabad.

During this incident, Omar Sheikh was arrested after he was injured in the gun fight. He was later released in exchange for passengers aboard the hijacked IC-814 at Kandahar in 1999. India had secured an Interpol Red Corner notice against Kashmiri in October 2010.
 
His role in the 26/11 came to light only after the arrest of Pakistani-American Lashker terrorist David Headley who told investigators that Kashmiri was present at the control room in Karachi when the 10 terrorists were killing people mercilessly in Mumbai on November 26.

Kashmiri's notoriety greatly increased in February 2000 after he led a gruesome attack on an Indian military post in which he allegedly beheaded an Indian soldier. Pictures of Kashmiri holding the head circulated through the press, and it was reported that he received a personal reward after presenting the head to General Pervez Musharraf.

Following the Mumbai attacks, Kashmiri also wanted Headley to return to India to conduct surveillance on Israeli targets in response to events in Gaza in 2009.

Kashmiri, who was once the head of the infamous 313 brigade of the HuJI that carried out attacks in Kashmir, always looked for recruits with such attributes that allowed them to move under the radar, contributing to his terror missions abroad.

The 313 brigade was carved out specially by the HuJI and disgruntled elements of Lashker for assisting Taliban in Afghanistan.

Way back in September 2009, he was reported killed in an attack by a US spy plane in North Waziristan but re-emerged a month later to give an interview to Syed Saleem Shahzad, the journalist who was recently abducted and murdered. 

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