Asim Omar, the leader of al-Qaeda in South Asia, was killed in a joint US-Afghan military operation last month, according to Afghan intelligence sources.
Omar has been killed in a raid on a Taliban compound in Helmand province on September 23 / September last, a raid, which also resulted in the deaths of 40 civilians at least.
So who is Assem Omar?
In a video dated September 9, 2014, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the takeover of Pakistan’s Maulana Asim Omar the South Asian emirate of the organization and named him a spokesman for the group in South Asia.
Prior to the move, Omar was known as an outspoken ideologue and preacher from the Pakistani sector of Kashmir and a senior member of al Qaeda for many years.
The information indicated that he was chairman of the al-Qaeda Sharia Committee for years before he took over the leadership of the organization in South Asia.
Omar, who was in his late 40s at the time of his death, reportedly spent many years in Afghanistan and was a close associate of former leader Osama bin Laden.
He was once an al Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad militant group in Kashmir, and was reportedly linked to militants in Kashmir, so he was appointed leader of al Qaeda in South Asia.
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The sources continued: “Al Qaeda began recruiting fighters in Afghanistan and appointed Asim Omar the emir of the organization in South Asia because of its strong links to the Islamists inside Pakistan.”
The sources said Omar facilitated bin Laden’s move to a safe haven in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad where he lived for years without anyone knowing it until US forces succeeded in killing him.
Omar was very religious and authored at least four books inciting jihad, one of them about the American security company Blackwater was entitled “Army of the Antichrist.”
He has also released several videos inciting Kashmiris to join the militants in their fight against “infidels” and has always reminded its followers of India’s past glories under the centuries-old Islamic rule.
Pakistani sources say he spent at least 16 years in Afghanistan, the first time he entered jihad circles when he studied at the University of Islamic Sciences in Karachi.
Omar also studied at Pakistan’s Haqqani Science School, which was run by Maulana Sami al-Haq, known as the Taliban’s father, because he taught a large number of the movement’s leaders.