US Strikes Kill 10 ISIS Leaders, Including Some Linked to Paris Attack

Undated picture obtained by AFP on December 29, 2015 shows Frenchman Charaffe al Mouadan (AFP Photo)
Undated picture obtained by AFP on December 29, 2015 shows Frenchman Charaffe al Mouadan (AFP Photo)

WASHINGTON -- U.S. and coalition airstrikes killed 10 Islamic State leaders over the past month, including several linked to the Paris attacks or other plots against the West, a U.S. military official in Iraq said Tuesday.

U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren told Pentagon reporters that the militants were killed mainly by drone strikes in Iraq and Syria. He offered few details, but said at least two of those killed were linked to the Paris attacks.

According to Warren, one of the insurgents killed was Charaffe al Mouadan, a Syrian-based IS member who was directly linked to Abdel Hamid Abaaoud, the Paris attack cell leader. Mouadan, who was killed by an airstrike in Syria on last Thursday, was actively planning additional attacks against the West, Warren said.

Also killed was Abdel Kader Hakim, who was part of the Islamic State group's effort to plan attacks against Western targets and "had links" to the Paris attack network, Warren said.

Most of the 10 appeared to be mid-level leaders.

Warren said that one of the others killed was from Bangladesh but was educated as a computer systems engineer in the United Kingdom. He worked as a computer hacker for the Islamic State group and coordinated anti-surveillance technology and weapons development.

"We're striking at the head of this snake," Warren said. "We haven't severed the head of the snake yet, and it's still got fangs. We have to be clear about that. There's much more fighting to do."

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