Pakistan has reportedly taken out a major leader of al Qaeda’s network in that country. On December 31, 2008, Pakistani forces killed Osama al-Kini, who served as al Qeada’s chief of operations.
The Kenyan, operating under a false name, was also involved in the deadly 1998 bomb attacks on American embassies in East Africa. Al-Kini had a $5 million bounty for his arrest. He also served in Afghanistan as the al Qaeda chief of Zabul province. His bloody work continued into Pakistan:
He is thought to have been behind more than seven suicide attacks inside Pakistan, including the assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto on her return to Pakistan in October 2007 and the September 2008 bombing at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad. The Marriott suicide attack killed more than 50 Pakistanis and foreigners, wounded more than 270, and gutted the popular hotel.
The continued American strikes in Pakistan, coupled with Pakistan’s own attacks may show that al Qaeda in Pakistan has grown powerful enough to merit these hard actions. Pakistan must clearly see the reach of al Qaeda and the Taliban and fear other reprisals like the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. They may feel that in order for a democratic Pakistan to survive, al Qaeda should get more attention then it has been.