Ahmed Farouq was the deputy emir of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, or AQIS, a local franchise started in September by the Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, ostensibly to counter Islamic State recruitment efforts, the report in a leading newspaper said.
US drone strikes, over the years, have been successful in diminishing and dispersing Al Qaeda's top leadership and the group had put hope for new leadership on Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, the report said.
Farouq was "apparently seen as a rising star in militant circles for some time," the report said, citing a 2010 letter to Osama bin Laden that had singled out a militant of the same name as having potential leadership potential.
Farouq is said to have died in the January 15 strike that killed two hostages -- Warren Weinstein of the United States and Giovanni Lo Porto from Italy -- the report said.
The Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent made its presence known in September 2014, when militants infiltrated Pakistan's navy and tried to hijack one of its ships, according to the SITE Institute, which monitors terror groups.
According to media reports, Osama Mehmood, a spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, as saying that Farouq and another top figure, Qari Abdullah Mansur, were killed in a January 15 drone strike in Pakistan's Shawal Valley.


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