Wali-ur-Rehman: Predator Drone Kills No. 2 Terrorist Leader – Again

In what security officials are calling a “huge blow to militants and a win in the fight against insurgents,” Wali-ur-Rehman, successor to current Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed by a drone in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan. The strike is believed to have killed Rehman, his aid, two unknown Uzbek nationals, and three more people who may have been civilians. 

The Taliban and Al-Qaeda No. 2s have been called “the easiest kill in terrorism.” The U.S. has captured or killed seven Al-Qaeda “number twos” since 2006, and even killed the same Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) No. 2 three timesComparisons drawn between terrorist No. 2s and the drummer in Spinal Tap seem quite appropriate,


This is the first strike since the May 11 Pakistani general election and the first since President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism speech last week, in which he said he would impose a higher standard on authorizing aerial attacks and shift responsibility for the drone program more from the CIA to the military. The president said that drone strikes are only authorized when capture is not a feasible option, as is the case in regions like South Waziristan. The Waziristan regions lie on the Afghan border and are the stronghold for Taliban militants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as Al-Qaeda.

Echoing concerns over the long-term costs of drone strikes that the president raised in his speech, the Pakistani foreign ministry denounced the drone strike: "The government has consistently maintained that the drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives, have human rights and humanitarian implications and violate the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law," it said.

Despite these concerns, support for using drones in the targeted killing of terrorists is very strong here in the U.S. – 79% of Republicans approve, as well as 64% of Democrats and 71% of independents.


How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Maxime Fischer-Zernin

Studying Political Science at Duke University (T. '15). His interests lie primarily in American national security and foreign policy. He is currently an Editor-at-Large for the Duke Political Review, and is a contributor for PolicyMic.com.

MORE FROM

8 of the biggest moments from the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March

The biggest Pride event in the world was a sight to behold.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

8 of the biggest moments from the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March

The biggest Pride event in the world was a sight to behold.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.