Abu Yahya al-Libi: Al Qaeda ‘Second-In-Command’ Killed In US Drone Strike
Abu Yahya al-Libi has been killed by a US drone strike, which took out the al Qaeda second-in-command in Pakistan early this week, according to US officials.
WTSP explains al-Libi’s rise to prominence in al Qaeda by saying:
“Al-Libi rose to prominence after his 2005 escape from the sprawling U.S. Air Base at Bagram, Afghanistan, quickly becoming a senior member of the command structure at the operation level, appearing in numerous videos at al Qaeda training camps.”
The Huffington Post reports that the late official had been considered by U.S. counter-terrorism experts as the number 2 in the core al Qaeda group, which is led by Ayman al Zawahiri. Zawahiri has been the group’s leader since the death of Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a commando raid by the U.S. on his compound in Pakistan.
So far while he has been in office, President Barack Obama has authorized many CIA drone strikes, which have resulted in the death of 15 of the most important officials in al Qaeda, according to the New America Foundation. CNN reports that similarly, President George W. Bush also authorized drone strikes, killing 16 important al Qaeda officials in Pakistan during his time in office. As a result, the last two presidents have all but decimated the top al Qaeda officials, leaving only Zawahiri left.
TIME Newsfeed reports that Ben Venzke, an analyst at the U.S.-based IntelCenter, stated of his death that:
“The loss of Abu Yahya al-Libi would be felt throughout the jihadi community as he has been one of the most visible jihadi figures from any of the groups around the world, with prolific video releases and writings.”
What do you think of the U.S.-led drone strikes, and the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi?