On the evening of April 13th, an air strike by Pakistani attack helicopters on two houses in the town of Miranshah, in North Waziristan, killed about a dozen al Qaeda operatives. Confirmed to be among the dead was 41-year old Abdul Rahman al Muhajir. One of al Qaeda's principal explosives experts, Al Muhajir was indicted for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, which killed over 220 people. The U.S. had posted a $5 million reward for his capture.
In addition to being one of al Qaeda's top experts on explosives, al Muhajir was believed to be researching chemical, biological, and radiological weapons. At the time of his death he was apparently involved in supporting the development of improved IEDs (improvised explosive devices) for the Taliban, based on experienced gathered from terror groups in Iraq. While his death will probably have little effect on the introduction of more advanced Iraqi-style IEDs in Afghanistan, it may slow the development of innovative weapons technologies.
Abdul Rahman al Muhajir was actually an alias, and the Egyptian-born terrorist was actually named Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah. He was also known to have used a number of other names, including Abdul Rahman, Abdul Rahman al Muhajir, Abdel Rahman, and Mohammed K.A. al Namer.
Al Muhajir's death is one of the most important results of a protracted Pakistani operation in Waziristan that began several months ago. Also among the dead were two women and a child, apparently family members of the local al Qaeda sympathizer who provided shelter for al Muhajir and his party.