Five-Million-Dollar Man Among Pak Dead


The New York Times reports that at least four of the 18 people killed in last week's controversial airstrike in Northeastern Pakistan were Al Qaeda types. The highest value target appears to have been one Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar:

At least one of the men believed by the Pakistani officials to have been killed, an Egyptian known here as Abu Khabab al-Masri, is on the United States' most-wanted list with a $5 million reward for help in his capture. His real name is Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, 52, who according to the United States government Web site, was an expert in explosives and poisons.

Abu Khabab, the Web site says, operated the Qaeda camp at Darrunta, near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and trained hundreds of fighters. He was responsible for putting together a training manual with recipes for crude chemical and biological weapons, the Web site says.

Among those Abu Khabab trained was Abu Zubaydah, Al Qaeda's No. 3 operative, who was captured in 2002 in the Pakistani town of Faisalabad, one of the Pakistani officials said.

Among the other sweethearts reportedly killed in the raid: An Egyptian leader of insurgent operations in southern Afghanistan, Ayman al-Zawahiri's Moroccan son-in-law, and another Egyptian Zawahiri associate. Possibly two others were also foreign militants. This is all from unnamed Pakistani and U.S. officials. I wouldn't expect any of this to calm down the furious anti-American protestors in Pakistan. Somehow the idea that the dead were innocent civilian victims and the idea that the dead were heroic martyrs fighting the Great Satan never seem to be as mutually exclusive to the fist shakers as they are to me.