Al-Qaeda Second in Command Killed in Pakistan Drone Attack


This undated photo made available by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center shows Atiyah Abd al-Rahman. U.S. and Pakistani officials said Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 that al-Qaida’s second-in-command has been killed in Pakistan, delivering another big blow to a terrorist group that the U.S. believes to be on the verge of defeat. (AP/National Counterterrorism Center)

Al-Qaeda’s second in command Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was killed in Pakistan this week.
The AP reported:

U.S. and Pakistani officials said Saturday that al-Qaida’s second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan, delivering another big blow to a terrorist group that the U.S. believes to be on the verge of defeat.

Al-Rahman was killed Monday in the lawless Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan, according to a senior administration official who insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence issues.

A Pakistani intelligence official said al-Rahman died in a U.S. missile strike in Machi Khel village in North Waziristan on Monday.

Since Navy SEALs stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound and killed him in May, the Obama administration has been unusually frank in its assessment that al-Qaida is on the ropes, its leadership in disarray. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last month that al-Qaida’s defeat was within reach if the U.S. could mount a string of successful attacks.

“Now is the moment, following what happened with bin Laden, to put maximum pressure on them,” Panetta said, “because I do believe that if we continue this effort we can really cripple al-Qaida as a major threat.”

…He once served as bin Laden’s personal emissary to Iran. Al-Rahman was allowed to move freely in and out of Iran as part of that arrangement and has been operating out of Waziristan for some time, officials have said.

The Long War Journal has more on Atiyah Abd al Rahman.

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