Posted 25 Sept 06 on some CT blog British troops have killed Omar al-Faruq, major Al Qaeda operative, in Basra. Al-Faruq, a Kuwaiti, has been described as the most senior Al Qaeda figure in southeast Asia and a key link to Indonesia's Jemaah Islamiah. He was captued in Indonesia in 2002 and was one of four terrorists who escaped from the Bagram air base prison near Kabul in June 2005. Al-Faruq set up the first Al Qaeda training camp in Southeast Asia in Mindinao (Philippines) with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 1994. In 1998, he went to Indonesia and later took credit for the 1999 bombing of a mosque there (to trigger Christian attacks against Muslims) and the Philippine ambassador's house in Jakarta. The al-Faruq arrest has been described as one of the outgrowths of the arrest of high-ranking Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah in March 2002. On March 31, 2005, Zachary Abuza wrote here that, "The links between the MILF and Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional affiliate of Al Qaeda that is responsible for three major terrorist attacks in Indonesia since October 2002, are clear and convincing. MILF offered JI training facilities in its camps in the 1990s; and several hundred JI members were trained by Al Qaeda operatives including Omar al-Faruq, Omar Al-Hadrani and al-Mughira al-Gaza'iri. The number of Indonesians in MILF camps, however, has decreased dramatically in the past few years." This is a significant kill for which the British deserve lots of credit. The fact that al-Faruq was killed in Basra, presumed center for Iraq's Shiites and where Sunni insurgents are definitely not welcome, is fascinating and troubling. Hopefully British, Iraqi, and American intel are working overtime to learn why he was there, how he traveled there, and his means of support. It's not difficult to imagine that his presence in the area was discovered by Shiites and passed to the British, which would explain why they used 200 troops in the pre-dawn raid in which they killed him. The British Major in charge of the operation is quoted as saying, "We tracked this terrorist down to Basra, where we identified that he was in a particular house in the center of Basra and we launched the operation in the early hours of this morning." The BBC reports that al-Faruq "had been tracked across Iraq to Basra." The AP reports that "al-Farouq entered Iraq three months ago, was known to be an expert in bomb making and went by the name Mahmoud Ahmed while in Basra." Sounds like they had lots of help from inside and possibly outside Iraq, perhaps from a variety of intel sources.