Top al Qaeda terrorist Abu Laith al-Libi was killed Monday night or early Tuesday in a missile strike by a Predator drone that demolished a “safe house” in North Waziristan, Pakistan. A number of other terrorists were also killed in the attack.
al-Libi may have ranked as high as third in the al Qaeda hierarchy, behind bin Laden and Zawahiri. A top operations chief, he planned the bombing at the U.S. base at Bagram in Afghanistan during a visit by Cheney in February 2007. Eric Rosenbach, executive director of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School, makes this interesting observation:
Rosenbach said militants who rise to No. 3 al-Qaida positions, like al-Libi, are often in charge of planning operations, exposing them to capture or death. Others he named included Mohammed Atef, who was killed, and Abu Faraj al-Libbi, who was captured.
“It has to be one of the most dangerous jobs on earth. They generally don’t last longer than a year–mostly because the al-Qaida chief of operations has a large ‘signature’ resulting from planning operations,” he said. “Our intelligence has done an excellent job in tracking them down.”
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