A CIA-controlled missile kills 18 women, children and maybe even a al-Qaida leader. The Amerikan Empire at work!!!!
Missile rips into al-Qaida enclave Group's No. 2 leader may have been killed
John Walcott and Jonathan S. Landay Knight Ridder Newspapers Jan. 14, 2006 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - A CIA-controlled unmanned aircraft fired a missile Friday into a compound inside Pakistan's border with Afghanistan after the CIA received intelligence that Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant and senior al-Qaida members were inside, U.S. intelligence officials said.
At least 17 people were killed, but it couldn't be immediately confirmed if al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, or other top members of the Islamic terrorist network were among them or were even present at the time of the attack, the officials said.
One official said that killing Zawahri or bin Laden would be a "major victory in the war on terror," but the officials acknowledged that it probably wouldn't cripple al-Qaida or significantly reduce the threat of terrorist attacks.
The reason, they said, is that terrorist cells now operate independently rather than on orders from bin Laden or Zawahri and that Iraq has become a new training ground for Islamic extremists.
The U.S. intelligence officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the operation was top secret and they weren't authorized to discuss it.
A CIA spokesman declined to comment.
The attack targeted a compound in the remote village of Damadola, about four miles from the border with Afghanistan, after intelligence indicated that Zawahri and other top al-Qaida operatives were there, the intelligence officials said.
The operation was carried out by a CIA-controlled Predator surveillance aircraft armed with a Hellfire air-to-ground missile, a method the spy agency has used in the past to kill "high value" terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and Iraq.
The agency is believed to operate a few dozen Hellfire-equipped Predators.
Video shot by the Predator during the attack in Damadola indicated that 17 people were killed in the strike, the intelligence officials said.
News reports from Pakistan confirmed an attack and quoted local officials as saying that 18 people, including women and children, were killed.
Zawahri, a physician who led Egyptian Islamic Jihad and then merged it with bin Laden's network, is considered al-Qaida's top ideologue.
U.S. officials believe that Zawahri, bin Laden and other al-Qaida members have been hiding among friendly Pashtun tribes on the Afghan-Pakistan border since the U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
Gen. Pervez Musharaf, Pakistan's military ruler, has deployed about 70,000 troops on his side of the border to capture al-Qaida members and Taliban fighters.
There have been reports of U.S. special forces and aircraft making forays across the frontier to hunt down al-Qaida members, but Pakistan denies such operations.
Zawahri increasingly has become the face of the terrorist network, appearing in videotapes sent to Arab television news stations.
In his most recent videotape, aired Jan. 6 by the Al-Jazeera television network, Zawahri claimed that President Bush's decision to reduce the U.S. military presence in Iraq by about 7,000 troops was a victory for radical Islamic fighters.
"Bush, you have to admit that you have been defeated in Iraq, that you are being defeated in Afghanistan, and that you will be defeated in Palestine soon with God's help and strength," Zawahri said in the tape.
Bin Laden hasn't been heard from, in either a videotape or audiotape, for more than a year.