David Drugeon was killed in a coalition airstrike in July near Aleppo, Syria, the government said
Drugeon was most recently tied to the Khorasan Group but also had ties to al Qaeda
The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that a French bomb-maker with ties to al Qaeda was killed in a July airstrike.
David Drugeon was killed in a coalition airstrike near Aleppo, Syria, the Pentagon said. Drugeon was most recently tied to the Khorasan Group, a network of veteran al Qaeda operatives.
A Twitter account that purportedly belongs to Sanafi al Nasr, a senior figure in al Qaeda in Syria, announced Drugeon’s death in July in a coalition airstrike in the countryside west of Aleppo, Syria, CNN Terror Analyst Paul Cruickshank reported earlier this month. In eulogizing Drugeon, al Nasr mentioned an airstrike late last year that injured Drugeon.
“It’s a big get,” Cruickshank said. “Drugeon was a skilled bombmaker who had access to a lot of Europeans and Westerners who could be equipped with a device to potentially target Western passenger jets.”
“As an explosives expert, he trained other extremists in Syria and sought to plan external attacks against Western targets,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said. “This action will degrade and disrupt ongoing, external operations of Al Qaida against the United States, its allies and its partners.”
A U.S. intelligence official said Drugeon, who was born in 1989 on the outskirts of Vannes, France, on the coast of Brittany, made several trips to Egypt to learn Arabic. In April 2010, he left France for good, traveling to Pakistan’s tribal areas before joining groups fighting the United States in Afghanistan.
The official believes his death will “degrade and disrupt ongoing external operations of al Qaeda against the U.S. and its allies and partners.”
Cook also said a September 10 airstrike killed Abu Bakr al-Turkmani, an ISIL senior leader, near Tal Afar, Iraq. He was a Yazidi slave facilitator, a senior defense official added.
“Abu Bakr al-Turkmani was an ISIL administrative emir. He was a legacy al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) jihadist before joining ISIL and was a close associate to multiple ISIL senior leaders in the Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq, area,” Cook said. “His death will disrupt ISIL operations in Tal Afar impacting the violent extremist freedom of maneuver in ISIL-controlled areas.”
Both al-Turkmani and Drugeon were the intended targets in their respective strikes, the senior defense official said. In Drugeon’s case, another Khorasan operative traveling in the same vehicle was also killed.