US Confirms: We Killed al-Qaeda's No. 2

Al-Libi was in home hit by missiles yesterday
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2012 7:39 AM CDT
Updated Jun 5, 2012 12:42 PM CDT
Did US Drone Take Out al-Qaeda’s No. 2?
This file image from video released on jihadist forums on Saturday, March 12, 2011 and provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, shows Abu Yahia al-Libi addressing Libyans in a video speech.   (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group)

(Newser) – Three US drone attacks in Pakistan over the past three days probably did little to mend US-Pakistan relations, but one of those attacks might do plenty to weaken al-Qaeda. A US official confirms that al-Qaeda's No. 2, Abu Yahya al-Libi, was killed in a strike yesterday, reports CNN. "This would be a major blow to 'core' al-Qaeda, removing the No. 2 leader twice in less than a year," a senior US official had earlier told the Washington Post, before the death was confirmed.

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Intelligence experts last year said that al-Qaeda was down to just two senior officials, Ayman al-Zawahiri and al-Libi, who was considered "general manager" of the terrorist group's main branch. While Zawahiri has been criticized for his aloof, intellectual style, al-Libi was more popular and charismatic, in part because of his famed 2005 escape from a US prison in Afghanistan. (Read more Abu Yahya al-Libi stories.)

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