Hasib, who had been leading the faction since predecessor Hafiz Saeed Khan died in a U.S. drone strike last year, was believed the architect of several high-profile attacks, including a March 8 attack on Kabul's main military hospital that left dozens of medical staff and patients dead. Two U.S. Army Rangers also died in the attack that killed Hasib, part of an operation that included drone strikes that began in March along the border with Pakistan. The April 27 raid killed 35 ISIS fighters, including several high-ranking commanders. "This successful joint operation is another important step in our relentless campaign to defeat ISIS-K [Islamic State Khorasan] in 2017," the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson said in a statement from U.S. military headquarters in Kabul.
The father of the Afghan-born man arrested after weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey reported concerns about his son to the FBI in 2014, but it found no "ties to terrorism" and dropped its inquiry, the father and the agency said on Tuesday. Rahami was arrested on Monday in Linden, New Jersey, after a shootout with police that left him with multiple gunshot wounds. The notebook, punctured by a bullet hole and stained with blood, contained references to killing nonbelievers and mentioned American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading al Qaeda propagandist who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011, the New York Times reported, citing an unnamed law enforcement official. Rahami's wife left the United States a few days before the bombings, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.
United States President Barack Obama's administration said Friday that up to 116 civilians have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries where America is not at war. Obama's goal for the release of the numbers is reportedly to create greater transparency about the actions of the U.S. military and CIA in counterterrorism measures against militants plotting attacks against the United States. Even the most conservative estimates by non-governmental organizations that have spent years tallying U.S. strikes in these countries are higher than the ones acknowledged by the administration. Obama also signed an executive order Friday that requires U.S. policies to limit non-combatant casualties and publicizing the number of strikes each year, and combatants and civilians killed.
The Afghan government is looking warily at the conservative religious scholar who has assumed leadership of the Taliban, seeing in him a rigid proponent of hardline orthodoxy who is unlikely to favor peace talks, officials said. "He is a very conservative, narrow-minded, inefficient kind of person who will never be able to unite the Taliban or gather support," said Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, the deputy and spokesman of Mullah Mohammad Rasool, leader of the most prominent anti-Mansour faction in the Taliban. Pakistan, which has faced fresh accusations of harboring the Taliban after Mansour's death on its soil, said the drone strike had undermined the so-called quadrilateral peace process involving Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States and China. But foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz, who said the United States informed Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif of the strike against Mansour three-and-a-half hours before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said contacts would resume.