Posted by lex, on June 15th, 2011
The killing of Osama bin Laden took years of focused intelligence work, exhaustive training and practice, and bold physical courage.
The killing of Ilyas Kashmiri took focused intelligence work, a little bit of luck and a Hellfire missile.
The killing Fazul Abdullah Mohammed?
That took a little bit of luck, and the pluck of an illiterate 22-year old Somali checkpoint guard:
Mohammed seems to have died because he had the bad luck of running into a government checkpoint manned by a determined soldier.
The driver complied with Hassan’s order and turned on the interior light. Hassan said he looked in and saw a pistol tucked in the driver’s waistband and an AK-47 assault rifle on the lap of the man beside him. That man, authorities later determined after he was already buried, was Mohammed, the mastermind of U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania almost 13 years ago and the most wanted man in East Africa.
“Don’t move your gun,” shouted Hassan, pointing his weapon at the man with the assault rifle. The passenger shouted as the driver drew his pistol to fire at Hassan, the soldier recalled. But the pistol jammed, and Hassan said he fired 30 bullets, a full magazine from his AK-47, into the Toyota Hilux Surf. Both Mohammed and the driver shot back, Hassan said, filling the air with gunfire. When the shooting stopped the two men in the Toyota were dead.
Better to be lucky than good. Better still to be lucky and good.