Newsnight has broken the story of a British man, Abdul Jabbar, being killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan last month. Jabbar is believed to have been linked to the Taliban (specifically, to the Haqqani network) and also to the failed Time Square bomber Faisal Shahzad who was sentenced to life in jail yesterday in New York.
The news comes against the backdrop of a dramatically raised terror threat across Europe with governments warning of possible attacks in Britain, France and Germany. Certainly, the rise in drone attacks across Pakistan’s tribal area suggests the US has credible and actionable intelligence.
Days before the ‘underpants bomber’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a transatlantic flight the US launched a series of drone attacks against al-Qaeda hotspots in Yemen. Intelligence officials knew al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was planning an attack against American interests and that it was imminent. What they did not know, however, was that Abdulmutallab had already left Yemen by the time they droned suspect sites. The spike in drone attacks in Pakistan coupled with travel advisory warnings suggests, again, that there is credible evidence of another big plot.
Theinvolvement of yet another British citizen in these attacks underscores the ongoing importance and relvance of the British jihad network to the global Islamist nexus.