Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Terrorism Analyst

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Top Al-Qaeda Commander Killed


Another heavy hitter bites the dust. From CBN News:

Abu Laith al-Libi, a top al-Qaida commander in Afghanistan who was blamed for bombing a base while Vice President Cheney was visiting last year, has been killed in Pakistan, according to a militant Web site.

Al-Libi was a key link between the Taliban and al-Qaida and was one of the Americans' 12 most-wanted men with a bounty of $200,000 on his head.

"He was martyred with a group of his brothers in the land of Muslim Pakistan," said the Web site, which frequently carries announcements from militant groups. "Though we are sad for his loss, he left a legacy that will inflame the enemy nation and religion."

The statement included al-Libi's picture. In an earlier announcement on the same site, a banner appeared in a section reserved for affiliated militant groups and not open to public posting.

"We congratulate the Islamic nation for the martyrdom of the sheik, the lion, Abu Laith al-Libi," it said.

Before the postings, there had been reports of an attack on militants in a Pakistani village. Pakistani intelligence officials and local residents said a missile hit a compound about 2.5 miles outside Mir Ali in North Waziristan late Monday or early Tuesday, destroying the facility.

The Washington Post has an insightful profile of Al-Libi here.  His claims to fame (or infamy) include the attempted assasination of VP Cheney, his Internet propaganda (see here) and his field work running Al-Qaeda training camps. U.S. intel believes he was anywhere between # 5 and # 3 in Al-Qaeda's hiearchy, part of the new wave of leaders who emerged after the group's leadership was decimated following 9/11. It seems that the # 3 position behind Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri is an revolving door of sorts. Now if we can only slam the first two doors shut for good.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 5:00 AM



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