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Zawahiri’s daughters released for ex-Pakistan army chief’s son

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Pakistan has negotiated the successful release of ex-army chief Gen Pervez Kayani’s kidnapped son in exchange for al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s two daughters and another woman, according to the Long War Journal.

According to the report of the Long War Journal, the exchange took place a few weeks ago. However, there are no media reports about abduction of the former Pakistani military chief’s son. There are no news reports indicating that when and how he was kidnapped. But it is widely believed that his son was in the Pakistani chopper that crash-landed in Logar province of Afghanistan.

On August 4, the helicopter cash landed in Azra district of Logar. The crew including a Russian was taken as hostage by the Taliban. Later, all the crew members were released. But, it is not clear that whether Kayani’s son was among the crew member and who released them. However, some reports suggested that son of a high-ranking Pakistani military official was part of the crew.

In early August, al-Qaeda sources announced that daughters of their chief have been released. The terrorist group has been trying to secure release of al-Zawahiri’s daughters in exchange for the abducted sons of high-profile Pakistanis.

The editors of Al Masra said that kidnapping of the “son of the Pakistani Army Commander” led to the release of the al-Qaeda chief’s daughters.

“The newsletter’s authors claimed a series of tweets posted online in mid-August provided the insider details of the story. As Sahab, the propaganda arm for al Qaeda’s senior leadership, released an unusual, thinly-veiled threat against the Pakistani Army in mid-July. The statement, dated June 2016, was attributed to ‘Al Qaeda Central’ and dealt with the ‘treacherous’ Pakistani Army’s detention of the three women and their children. Umaymah al Zawahiri and Fatimah al Zawahiri were identified, respectively, as the wives of Abu Dujana al Basha and Abu Basir al Urduni, both of whom are fallen al Qaeda commanders,” the Long War Journal reported.

According to the report, Al Jawhari’s daughter, Sumaiya Murjan Salem, was listed as the widow of Adnan al Shukrijumah, who was the chief of al Qaeda’s North American operations until he was killed during a Pakistani operation in Dec. 2014.

In second week of May, Afghan and the US special forces released the former Pakistani prime minister’s son Ali Haider Gilani in an operation against al-Qaeda in Giyan district of Paktika province. He was kidnapped three years ago.

After release of his son, the former Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said that “the hostage-takers wanted several al Qaeda prisoners” in exchange for his son.

Ali Gilani said, “They wanted the government to release some women from [the] family of al Zawahiri and also demanded hefty ransom.”

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