From Reuters, “Pakistan denies report U.S drone kills Qaeda leader”
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan denied on Saturday U.S. media reports that a senior al Qaeda leader was killed in a missile attack by an unmanned U.S. intelligence Predator aircraft on Pakistani territory near the Afghan border. ABC News, one of several U.S. news networks reporting the U.S. strike, said sources from unnamed intelligence agencies identified the man as Haitham al-Yemeni.
“Nothing has happened in Pakistan. If something happened in Afghanistan, we don’t know,” Information Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed told Reuters.
A U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan said he had no information about the veracity of the reports.
Al-Yemeni, a native of Yemen known for his bomb-making skills, had been tracked in the hope that he would help lead the United States to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, intelligence officials were quoted as saying by ABC.
With the capture in Pakistan earlier this month of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, thought to be al Qaeda’s number three man, officials feared that al-Yemeni would go into hiding, and so decided to take action, ABC said on Friday.
The CIA refused to confirm or deny the report, ABC said.
The CIA has the authority to fire against senior al Qaeda figures anywhere in the world, though it is unclear whether the Pakistanis approved of the action in advance, ABC said.
This would be the fourth known time the CIA Predator has opened fire on al Qaeda targets, ABC said…