Pakistan: US Drone Kills al-Qaeda No. 2

Abu Zaid al-Kuwaiti replaced commander killed in June drone strike
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 9, 2012 10:03 AM CST
In this Jan. 31, 2010 file photo, an unmanned US Predator drone.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

(Newser) – A US drone strike has killed a senior al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan's tribal region near the Afghan border, Pakistani intelligence officials said, in the latest blow to the Islamic militant network. Sheik Khalid bin Abdel Rehman al-Hussainan, who was also known as Abu Zaid al-Kuwaiti, was killed when missiles slammed into a house Thursday near Mir Ali, one of the main towns in the North Waziristan tribal area, the officials said. Al-Kuwaiti appeared in many videos released by al-Qaeda's media wing, Al-Sahab, and was presented as a religious scholar for the group.

Earlier this year, he replaced Abu Yahya al-Libi, al-Qaeda's second in command, who was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan in June. Al-Kuwaiti appeared to be a less prominent figure and was not part of the State Department's list of most wanted terrorist suspects. Al-Kuwaiti's wife and daughter were wounded in Thursday's drone attack, according to the intelligence officials. His wife died a day later at a hospital. A Pakistani Taliban commander said that he met some Arab fighters yesterday who were "very aggrieved." The Arabs told him they lost a "big leader" in a drone strike. (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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