ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Afghanistan officials told SaraACarter.com Saturday that the top intelligence chief for the terrorist organization ISIS in the region was killed Friday in an operation in Eastern Nangarhar province.
A senior official with the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, told this reporter that Assadullah Orakzai was killed during an operation near Jalalabad city, the capital of the province. The claim has not been independently verified as of yet by U.S. military or intelligence officials but it is being reported throughout the South Asian region and NDS has issued an official statement.
“Assadullah Orakzai along with two other key commanders have been killed during in intelligence based operation,” Imtiaz Wardag, a local police official in Nangarhar province told SaraCarter.com by phone.
In Afghanistan, a person’s last name is many times attributed to the region where a person is born. Orakzai is a district in Kohat Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. It is an area that borders Afghanistan and is part of the lawless Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
A statement released by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) Saturday confirmed the death of Assadullah: “The Special Units of the National Directorate of Security NDS have eliminated Ziaurrahman known as Assadullah Orakzai, the native of Akhel Orakzai agency of Pakistan during a targeted operation.”
“Afghanistan’s regional and international partners should remember that Afghanistan is a key player in the fight against terrorist and will crush terrorists’ roots anywhere,” the NDS statement said.
Assadullah, who originally came from the Orakzai region, was behind several terrorist attacks including a deadly attack on a hospital’s maternity ward in capital Kabul and suicide bombing at a funeral prayer in Nangarhar on May 12, which killed 56 people and left nearly 150 other wounded.
Wardag told this reporter the that the ISIS Chief, along with other followers of the extremist terrorist organization, operated and established a basecamp in the border lands between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The ISIS intelligence chief had long been a threat to both Afghan and U.S. troops but was believed to have been hiding with other ISIS terrorists in North Western Pakistan, an area that was once a stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban. A 2014 military operation by the Pakistan army greatly decimated the Taliban’s forces in the area but the
An Afghan intelligence official said that Assadullah was once a close associate of Mufti Abu Sayeed Orakzai, the former chief of ISIS in Afghanistan. In the region ISIS is often referred to as Daesh. Sayeed Orakzai was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2018.
Sayeed Orazai was replaced an Afghan national, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, as the chief of the Khorasan ISIS chapter, which includes Pakistan. Interestingly Sayeed had also served as district Chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for Orakzai Agency chapter before discarding the TTP umbrella in mid-October 2014. The Taliban and ISIS have been fighting against one another in the region for dominance.
“Assadullah Orakzai was student of Mufti Sayeed in his seminary and remained his close aid,” Saboor Khattak, Peshawar based senior journalist said.
According to Khattak, this is another “major blow to Daesh” ISIS in the region after its key commanders were also recently captured by Afghan forces.
On April 4, Afghan forces captured Aslam Farooqui, the head of ISIS Khorasan in the eastern province of Kandahar, while later another key commander of an offshoot ISIS group, known in the region as Ziaul Haq, was also arrested on May 11.
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Cruz warns Biden Admin is weaponizing DOJ against Israel in death of journalist
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), warned on Tuesday that weaponizing the Department of Justice against Israel – a staunch allied nation of the United States – is unacceptable in the investigation of the death of a Palestine journalist. Cruz stated that Attorney General Merrick Garland’s actions should end with his impeachment and that the FBI must never be used as a tool against our allies.
Reports surfaced that the U.S. is launching an investigation into the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Israel confirmed the information Monday in multiple media outlets. Israeli officials noted that such an investigation is a “grave mistake.”
A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Gantz’s statement. It was not immediately clear when the investigation might have begun and what it would entail. But a probe by the U.S. into Israeli actions was a rare step that could shake the strong alliance between the two countries.
Palestinian officials, Abu Akleh’s family and Al Jazeera accuse Israel of intentionally targeting and killing the 51-year-old journalist, who was wearing a helmet and a protective vest marked with the word “press” when she was shot last May in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, however, said on Twitter Monday, “that we won’t cooperate with any external investigation” conducted by the FBI.
“We will not allow interference in Israel’s internal affairs,” he added. According to reports Abu Akleh is a Palestinian but also a U.S. citizen.
Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Judiciary Committees, was responding to recent reports that the Biden administration seeks to open an FBI investigation into Israel. He stated, “everyone involved with this debacle should be fired or impeached – all the way up to Attorney General Garland.”
“Joe Biden and his administration view Israel and Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu as political enemies, and so they are responding to them the way they respond to all their political enemies: by unleashing the FBI,” Sen. Cruz stated. “Our Israeli allies have, since the very beginning, cooperated closely with the United States in investigating this incident, and the State Department and Defense Departments had already drawn their conclusions.”
He warned “this outrage underscores how corrupt and blatantly politicized the Justice Department has become, and how entirely beholden to the radical left-wing Squad Democrats really are. This administration has spent its time in office weaponizing the DOJ to target their political enemies as a matter of policy, and now they have allowed that tactic to bleed into their obsession with undermining our Israeli allies.”
Joe Biden and his administration view Israel and Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu as political enemies, and so they are responding to them the way they respond to all their political enemies: by unleashing the FBI. 1/xhttps://t.co/b8SjTcGUB3
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 15, 2022
The Senator went on Twitter saying that Biden and the administration has weaponized the DOJ “to target their political enemies as a matter of policy, and now they have allowed that tactic to bleed into their obsession with undermining our Israeli allies.”
It’s a fact and we’ve seen how the DOJ, as well as other agencies, have been used against political opponents in the United States, particularly since President Donald Trump took office in 2016. Targeting Israel so openly is all-together new and something that has lawmakers, as well as intelligence officials deeply concerned.
You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC
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