DEVELOPING STORY: Elusive Ex-Commando To Replace Bin Laden?
MSNBC.COM - A Pakistani former commando who has been linked to multiple terror plots — including a series of planned "Mumbai style" attacks in European cities last summer — has emerged as a possible successor to Osama bin Laden as leader of al-Qaida, according to U.S. officials.
Although Ilyas Kashmiri is barely known to the American public, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have increasingly focused on him in recent years. The CIA has targeted him in drone attacks in northwest Pakistan and federal prosecutors have indicted him in a major terrorism case involving a Chicago businessman who goes on trial next week.
An elusive figure who often wears heavily tinted aviator glasses, Kashmiri remains at large and active in plotting new attacks against the West, U.S. officials say. It was Kashmiri who, according to U.S. officials, was the key figure behind a suspected plot for multiple attacks in European cities, patterned after the 2008 Mumbai terror strike, which led to a widely publicized State Department travel advisory in October.
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