Washington: Ahmed Farouq, an American who died in a US counterterrorism airstrike in January, was the deputy emir of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, or AQIS, a new branch of the terror group, according to a media report.
Two Al Qaeda hostages, Warren Weinstein of the US and Giovanni Lo Porto from Italy, were killed in the same strike, according to CNN. That branch of Al Qaeda made its presence known in September 2014 when its militants infiltrated Pakistan's navy and tried to hijack one of its ships, CNN said citing the SITE Institute.
The group's spokesperson, Usama Mahmoud, on Twitter compared the Pakistani naval officers involved in the attempted hijacking to Nidal Hasan, SITE, which monitors terror groups, reported. Hasan is the US Army psychiatrist sentenced to death for killing 13 people at Fort Hood, a US Army base in Texas.
Osama Mehmood, a spokesperson for Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, said that Farouq and another top figure, Qari Abdullah Mansur, were killed in a January 15 drone strike in Pakistan's Shawal Valley. Both Farouq and Mansur were senior Al Qaeda leaders, according to Mehmood.