16 Dec 2010

Foreign Office probes Brits killed by drone in Pakistan

Reports that two white British al-Qaeda members have been killed in a missile strike are being investigated, as a security source tells Channel 4 News he is “not surprised Britons are in the area”.

Hellfire missile (Getty images)

Two white Britons, believed to be Muslim converts, are said to have died in the attack by a remote-controlled US aircraft near the town of Datta Khel six days ago.

The men were aged 48 and 25 and were using the pseudonyms Abu Bakr and Mansoor Ahmed. They were apparently in a vehicle in the mountainous region near the Afghanistan border with two other people.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman confirmed the High Commission in Pakistan is looking into the reports of the drone strike.

A British security source told Channel 4 News that he was “not at all surprised to learn that British nationals were in the area.”

“There has been a dramatic escalation of American Predator drone attacks in the region,” according to Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller.

“There have been more than 100 strikes this year, and more than 50 since September, in which more than 260 people have been killed. Most of the recent attacks have primarily targeted foreign fighters, according to security sources.

“This is understood to be because western security agencies uncovered a plot to attack European cities, a plot which was sourced to North Waziristan.

“In October the United States issued a terror alert warning of imminent Mumbai-style attacks targeting London, Paris and Berlin. The previous month, US drone strikes killed another Briton and eight German nationals.”