Abu Nabil, a long time Al Qaeda operative, and a man widely thought to be the head of the Libyan wing of the Islamic State (IS), was killed by the U.S. Military of Friday, reports CNN. According to the report, Abu Nabil was killed in an airstrike authorized by the Pentagon hours before the terror attacks carried out by the IS in Paris. Abu Nabil is reportedly an Iraqi national who was initially associated with Al Qaeda. He later switched allegiance to the newly formed Islamic State, or IS.
According to Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook, the death of Nabil is a huge win.
“While not the first U.S. strike against terrorists in Libya, this is the first U.S. strike against an ISIS leader in Libya and it demonstrates we will go after ISIS leaders wherever they operate.”
Meanwhile, the CNN report added that Abu Nabil was also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi. He is believed to be the same person who appeared in a video released by the ISIS back in February this year which showed a group of coptic christians being executed near a beach. The Christian men were taken prisoner by IS fighters in Libya and were executed because they refused to convert to Islam.
Meanwhile Peter Cook added that Nabil being a key ISIS operative, his death would “degrade ISIS’s ability to recruit new members and establish ISIS further in Libya.” He added that his death has also been a blow to ISIS’s capability to plan and execute possible future attacks on the United States.
Following the news of Abu Nabil’s killing, President Barack Obama said the ongoing U.S. strategy against the ISIS has “contained them.” He however added that the U.S. administration has not been able to neutralize the ISIS’s central command and leadership. In an interview to ABC News, Obama asserted that ISIS is not gaining strength. Ironically, the interview came just a few hours prior to the Paris terror attacks that ISIS carried out in the French capital.
Obama explained the results of the hit on ISIS.
“What is true, from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq and in Syria. They’ll come in. They’ll leave. But you don’t see this systemic march by ISIS across the terrain. What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We’ve made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters.”
After the attack in Paris, Obama termed it an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.” He also promised all possible assistance to the French government.
“This is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share. We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance the people of France need to respond.”
The news of the death of Abu Nabil comes close on the heels of the reported death of “Jihadi John,” another key ISIS operative who is believed to be the man that appeared in several execution videos. Jihadi John spoke in a suave British accent and is believed to be a former U.K. citizen.
Over the course of the past few weeks, ISIS has managed to mount terror attacks against Russia and France — both of which ended up with several innocent lives being lost. Earlier this month, ISIS operatives blew up a Russian plane that took of from Egypt — killing all 224 people on board. The terror attack in Paris has claimed the lives of over 150 people and this is the worst attack against France since World War II.
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