November 1, 2016 | Quoted by Dan Christensen - Miami Herald
Widow of ex-South Florida al Qaeda figure reported in Pakistan hostage swap Read more here: http://
Nearly two years after Pakistan’s army said it killed fugitive terrorist leader and ex-Broward resident Adnan El Shukrijumah, the FBI still hasn’t verified his death. But recent news reports say al Qaeda recently claimed that Shukrijumah’s widow was one of three women released by Pakistan in exchange for the son of the country’s former army chief.
The other women reportedly handed over to al Qaeda in the exchange were the adult daughters of Ayman al Zawahiri, who took over as leader after Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May 2011.
The Long War Journal, a project of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, first reported the story Sept. 2. Al Qaeda’s unverified claims about the exchange were made in late August in Al Masra, a magazine published by an organization linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Long War Journal and the Hindustan Times reported that al Qaeda sources first announced the release of the three women in early August. At the time, no mention of an exchange was made, but The Journal added, “Independent accounts indicate the global jihadist organization had been trying to secure their release in exchange for the kidnapped sons of Pakistan’s elite.”
The Journal said Al Masra identified Shukrijumah’s widow as Sumaiya Murjan Salem. She was identified as the daughter of the late Sheikh Murjan Salem al Jawhari. In an interview, Journal reporter Thomas Joscelyn described Salem al Jawhari as a “Zawahiri loyalist, a guy who was prominent in ideological circles.”
Shukrijumah’s widow and Zawahiri’s daughters, and their children were reportedly sent to Egypt. Al Qaeda’s boss, 65, was born in Egypt.
The Journal reported that al Qaeda claimed the women were released in exchange for the son of Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who stepped down as army chief in 2013. Before that, he headed Pakistan’s Directorate General for Inter-Services Intelligence.
The Indian Express later cited unnamed “Pakistani military sources” as denying that there was a swap for the younger Kayani, but said the sources conceded that the women were exchanged for the son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Ali Haider Gilani, however, was rescued in a joint U.S.-Afghan raid in May.
The Journal reported that As Sahab, “a propaganda arm for al Qaeda’s senior leadership,” had released a threat in mid-July about the “treacherous” Pakistani army’s detention of the women. It identified Umaymah al Zawahiri and Fatima al Zawahiri, both in their mid-30s, as the wives of dead al Qaeda commanders. Sumaiya Salem was listed as Shukrijumah’s widow.
“Al Qaeda accused the Pakistanis of holding the three women and their children on the ‘orders of American intelligence’ since 2014,” the Journal story said. “The jihadists claimed at the time that the negotiations to free them had ‘failed.’ Al Qaeda said it would hold the Pakistani government and its ‘American masters’ responsible.”
“On Aug. 5, al Qaeda’s social media channels lit up with news that Zawahiri’s daughters and Shukrijumah’s widow had been released,” the story said.
Read the full article here.