Malik Dawood Khan was fatally shot by unidentified assailants in North Waziristan’s Mirali region. He was the founder of the Lashkar-e-Jabbar, a terrorist organisation banned by India.
Khan was the key conspirator of numerous terror attacks. He carried out the bombing of Air India flight Kanishka on the 23rd of April in the year 1985 which took 329 innocent lives and the most devastating Pulwama attack in 2019 which took the lives of 44 CRPF personnel of India.
He served as a trusted associate of Maulana Masood Azhar, who heads the terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) based in Pakistan. Masood Azhar is a notorious figure wanted for his involvement in orchestrating the 2016 Pathankot airbase attack and several other high-profile terrorist incidents. Khan is suspected of offering logistical and financial assistance to Maulana Masood Azhar and his terrorist group, JeM, for their various attacks.
The assassination of Khan appears to be a continuation of a pattern of targeted killings of Pakistani terrorists carried out by unidentified individuals wearing masks. These unknown assailants have previously eliminated Shahid Latif, the prime orchestrator of the Pathankot attack and a high-priority terrorist on the wanted list.
A string of high-profile eliminations of wanted terrorists has instilled a sense of dread in Maulana Masood Azhar. The internationally recognized terrorist, Masood has made an appeal to the Pakistan Army for the deployment of SSG commandos to bolster his security. This plea comes in the aftermath of the targeted killings of the top two terrorists from his organization by unidentified masked gunmen in Sialkot, Pakistan.
The elimination of the most sought-after terrorists, especially those at the helm of prominent anti-India extremist organizations, undermines the stability of these groups. Khan’s removal from the equation could potentially disrupt the ties and communication between Lashkar-e-Jabbar and Maulana Masood Azhar’s terrorist group, Jaish-e-Mohammed.