Amjad Hussain Farooqi, 30, said to be running Al Qaeda operations in Pakistan, was killed on Sunday after a shootout in southern Sindh province. Farooqi was said to be the right-hand man of Abu Faraj Farj, the Libyan who took over as third-in-command after the arrest in March 2003 of the 9/11 "architect" Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
"I can confirm that Amjad Farooqi has been killed in an encounter with security forces and we have also arrested three important terror suspects."
Information Minister Sheikh Rashid
Farooqi was suspected of involvement in the 2002 throat-slitting murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. He was also the "mastermind" of the lethal suicide bombing of the U.S. consulate in Karachi in 2002. Farooqi was also believed to be behind two attempts to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in December 2003. Reportedly, Farroqi recruited and trained 24 Pakistani Air Force technicians from Chaklala Air Base, who then spent two days strapping plastic explosives to pillars of a road bridge in the city of Rawalpindi. The bombs were detonated on December 14, just minutes after Musharraf's convoy had crossed the bridge. Reportedly, radio interference devices in the convoy prevented the detonation signal from getting through on time. A second assassination attempt on Musharraf occurred on December 25, 2003, with suicide bombers as the means. Again, Musharraf escaped harm, though there were serious casualties to his security contingent.
Farooqi (alias Imtiaz Farooqi, alias Haider, alias Mansoor Hussain) was born in Toba Tek Singh in Punjab province. He became an activist of the banned militant group Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami. He later visited Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. He is also suspected of taking part in the 1999 hijacking of an Indian airliner to Kandahar, Afghanistan, that resulted in an exchange of hostages-for-prisoners that freed Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh from an Indian prison. Sheikh has been sentenced to death for complicity in the Pearl abduction. Just this year, Pakistan placed a $345,000 bounty was placed on Farooqi's head.
Labels: Abu Faraj Farj, al Qaeda, Al-Qa'idah, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaida, Amjad Hussain Farooqi, Daniel Pearl, Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Omar Saeed Sheikh, Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf