Reports: Top Al Qaeda commander killed in Pakistan

1 February 2008: Top al Qaeda terrorist leader Abu Laith al-Libi, the nom de guerre of an Islamic terrorist from Libya who has been involved with al Qaeda and the Taliban since the late 1980s, was reportedly killed in a U.S. air strike earlier this week. Al-Libi, reported to be in his early to mid-forties, evolved into an important operational asset for al Qaeda, especially in Afghanistan.

allibi20080201Pictured at left, al-Libi was one reportedly one of 13 al Qaeda operatives present at a compound located two miles outside of Mir Ali, the second biggest town in North Waziristan - a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan.

According to a senior U.S. intelligence official interviewed yesterday by the Northeast Intelligence Network “human intelligence assets placed al-Libi at the al Qaeda compound along with other targets of opportunity, including Obaidah al Masri.” Information obtained from this source, who declined to be identified for the purpose of this article, stated that “there is a high level of certainty that we got him” (referring to al-Libi). It remains unknown whether the strike successfully took out al Masri as well.

Al-Libi was one of the top six al Qaeda leaders, according to a classified US Central Intelligence Agency “wanted list.” He was most recently noted for his leadership role in the February 2007 homicide bombing outside the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan during a visit by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney - an attack that killed 23 people.