Pakistan rubbishes report on death of British militant
Pakistani security officials Thursday rejected a report claiming that a British-origin Pakistani militant tasked with attacks in Europe died in a US drone strike last month.
British media reports identifying the militant as Abdul Jabbar said he was being groomed to head a new Al-Qaeda splinter group in Britain that planned to launch terror attacks on Europe.
"I have no knowledge of any such militant. No one with this name existed and I will say no one of British origin died in recent drone attack," a senior security official at Islamabad told AFP.
Intelligence officials in Miranshah also dismissed the report as baseless.
"This report is just speculation," one intelligence official told AFP.
Another intelligence official clarified that an Egyptian national, Abdul Latif, was reportedly killed in a drone attack last month but said no one of British origin was killed.
"We have no report of anyone with the name of Abdul Jabber," he said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to media.
The United States has massively ramped up its drone campaign in Pakistan's lawless northwest tribal region on the Afghan border, amid intelligence claims of a Mumbai-style terror plot to launch commando attacks on European cities.
The plot was reportedly caught in its early planning stages, according to media reports.
According to Pakistani officials the US has launched a record 26 drone attacks since September 3 that have killed nearly 150 people.
The United States does not as a rule confirm drone attacks, but its military and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy the pilotless aircraft in the region.
Officials in Washington say in the past drone strikes have killed a number of high-value targets including former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.
© 2010 AFP