Drone Takes Out Mastermind Behind Massive Bombing That Killed U.S. Servicemen
The U.S. Department of Defense has confirmed that a U.S. airstrike killed militant leader Qari Yasin. On March 19, the deadly drone strike took place in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan, an area where Pakistani Taliban operatives have operated after slipping across the border in 2014.
Yasin is described by the Pentagon as a “senior terrorist figure,” who plotted multiple terror attacks. That includes the September 20, 2008, bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan. A dump truck carrying 13,000 pounds of explosives blew up at the entrance of the hotel in Pakistan’s capital and left a crater that was 20-feet deep and 60-feet wide. The blast killed 54 people, including two U.S. servicemen, and injured 266.
Yasin is also responsible for an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team. In March 2009, the team was visiting Lahore, Pakistan when a gunmen sprayed the team’s tour bus with bullets, killing six Pakistani policemen and two civilians, as well as injuring six players. After that attack, Pakistan was prohibited from hosting major international cricket matches and now plays most of their “home” games in the United Arab Emirates.
“The death of Qari Yasin is evidence that terrorists who defame Islam and deliberately target innocent people will not escape justice,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement.
Yasin had ties to the Pakistani Taliban, which is composed of various Sunni Islamist militant groups and are closely aligned with Al Qaeda. The Pakistani Taliban is known for attempting to murder Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl who advocated for the education of girls, when they shot her while she was on a school bus. Yousafzai went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, the youngest winner ever.