The Lashkar al-Zil or Shadow Army (also known as Jaish al Usrah, or the Army of the Protective Shield) is a paramilitary organization linked to al-Qaeda and descended from the 055 Brigade. According to Syed Saleem Shahzad, it "comprises the Pakistani Taliban, 313 Brigade, the Afghan Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan and former Iraqi Republican Guards". Lashkar al-Zil has reportedly been led by Khalid Habib al Shami (killed October 2008), Abdullah Said al Libi (killed December 2009), and Ilyas Kashmiri (killed June 3, 2011).
The Lashkar al-Zil has been involved in attacks in Afghanistan's eastern and southern provinces. News reports have linked it to several specific attacks, including the Camp Chapman attack (December 30, 2009) and the Sudhnati suicide bombing (January 6, 2010).
- Bill Roggio. Al Qaeda Brigade 313 website goes online. Long War Journal, August 2, 2010
- Roggio, Bill (2009-02-09). "Al Qaeda's paramilitary 'Shadow Army'". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- Shahzad, Syed Saleem (2010-01-05). "US spies walked into al-Qaeda's trap". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- Roggio, Bill (2010-01-07). "US killed al Qaeda’s Lashkar al Zil commander in airstrike". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- Reid, Robert H.; Gannon, Kathy; Farrar, Jennifer (2009-10-06). "Al-Qaida Showing Smaller Presence In Afghanistan". Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-01-08. ""In my opinion al-Qaida fighters from the Lashkar al-Zil are actively involved in all Taliban fronts, from Nuristan in the north to Helmand in the south," [University of Massachusetts associate professor Bryan Glyn] Williams said."
- Mir, Amir (2010-01-11). "Lashkar-e-Zil behind Azad Kashmir suicide hits". The News International. Retrieved 2010-01-31. "there are clear indications that the January 6, 2010 attack targeting a military installation in the Sudhnoti district of Azad Kashmir, which killed four Pakistani soldiers...[was] masterminded by the Lashkar-e-Zil."[dead link]
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