Two white Britons ‘killed fighting for Al Qaeda’ in U.S. drone attack in Pakistan
Two white British men who were fighting alongside Al Qaeda militants in Pakistan have been killed in a drone attack, it was reported last night.
The two men are believed to have been ‘white converts’ to Al Qaeda who changed their British names to Islamic ones after becoming radicalised.
They died five days ago when a Hellfire missile was fired from a remote controlled American drone in the town of Datta Khel.
If the reports are confirmed, the two men would be the first white British converts to have been killed in the area.
The militants were aged 48 and 25 and had been using the pseudonyms Abu Bakr and Mansoor Ahmed. It is believed one of the men was originally called Steve.
They were in a vehicle with two other fighters when they were hit by the missile. It is not known whether they were crossing the border into Afghanistan.
Details of their deaths are slowly emerging following the missile strike on the Pakistan and Afghanistan borders.
It was reported that the pair had entered the area last year and had travelled to north Waziristan in the lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan to join Al Qaeda.
The Americans believe that there are around 2,000 militants in the area. These are the ones that are targeted by drone attacks because they are deemed the most dangerous.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We are aware of media reports of the death of two British nationals in Pakistan.
‘Our High Commission in Pakistan is seeking further information on these reports.’ In September another British militant called Abdul Jabber, who was from Birmingham and of Asian descent, died in a drone attack in the same area.
Although not part of official defence strategy, and not acknowledged by the CIA, drone attacks have been stepped up in recent months as the United States attempts to tackle fighters who gather openly in Pakistani villages and compounds.
There have been at least 25 such strikes in Pakistan since September, resulting in the deaths of around 50 people.
The tactic has caused controversy, with Afghan leaders claiming they cause indiscriminate civilian casualties.
A senior defence source said: ‘There was possibly an attack on two British nationals five days ago. It is not something our military have been [dealing with] as it was out of our operating area, and there was no involvement from our side.
‘The Foreign Office is investigating the reports.’
The Pentagon had no comment to make on the reported deaths last night.