By Andrew Alderson, Chief Reporter Telegraph
Last Updated: 11:07AM GMT 22 Nov 2008
Rauf has been on the run since escaping from a Pakistani jail nearly a year ago Photo: AP
Rashid Rauf, 27, who grew up in Birmingham, was killed along with at least three other militants in the attack on the house of a local tribesman in the North Waziristan area. A US drone targeted the home in the village of Alikhel, part of a district known as a stronghold for al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
"The transatlantic bombing plot alleged mastermind Rashid Rauf was killed along with an Egyptian al-Qaeda operative in the US missile strike in North Waziristan," a senior security official said. Rauf, who has been on the run after escaping from a Pakistani jail nearly a year ago, was said to have played a key role in a liquid bomb plot targeting transatlantic airliners in 2006.
Rauf, a British national who used to live in Birmingham, escaped from Pakistani authorities after appearing before a judge in an Islamabad court in December last year. At the time, he could have faced extradition to Britain within weeks.
After the escape, Khalid Pervez, a city police official, said that Rauf managed to open his handcuffs and evade police guards taking him back to Adiala prison in the nearby city of Rawalpindi. After the escape, 12 policemen were questioned and two had been accused of assisting the escape or negligence. Despite a huge manhunt, he was never recaptured.
Rauf was arrested in Pakistan in August 2006 along with seven other suspects, after a tip-off from British intelligence, over alleged attempts to blow up 10 transatlantic jets.
News of the liquid bomb plot paralysed global air travel, prompting authorities to implement stringent security measures at airports around the world.
Police believe that the plan was for different passengers to carry peroxide-based liquid explosive in drinks containers and detonators disguised as electronic devices and combine them on board.
The arrests sparked a security alert and mass flight cancellations as well as restrictions on carry-on luggage.
A dual citizen of Britain and Pakistan, Rauf was married to a relative of Maulana Masood Azhar, the head and founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed, an Islamist militant group in Pakistan that has been linked to al-Qaeda. Azhar has lived in Bahawalpur, a city in eastern Pakistan where Rauf had also settled.
A senior Pakistani official called Rauf "an al-Qaeda operative with linkages in Afghanistan." "Enjoy your raisins."
Rauf is understood to have left Birmingham following the stabbing to death of his uncle, Mohammed Saeed, 54, near his home in Alum Rock in April 2002.