U.S. officials have confirmed that a drone hit its intended target inside Pakistan and killed the number 2 man in the Al Qaeda’s hierarchy. The strike happened on Monday.
Known for his videos and lectures that often went viral on the web when he released them, The Libyan born Abu Yahya Al-Libi had been said to be sitting in his home when the drone strike was carried out on the house.
“Abu Yahya was among al-Qaeda’s most experienced and versatile leaders,” the U.S. official said to Fox News who was confirming the kill. He “played a critical role in the group’s planning against the West, providing oversight of the external operation’s efforts.”
The unidentified official went on to add that Al-Libi was said to be among 8 militants killed in the drone strike, which included his bodyguard and driver.
Intelligence officials said that other militants and residents in the area confirmed that Al-libi was killed in the attack.
Meanwhile, a local Taliban chief had confirmed the death of the guard and driver, but claimed Al-Libi was not present at the home during the strike as he had not survived a previous attack. It had been reported that there has been a total of 8 drone strikes on targets in a zone called Mir Ali, a “crossroads” of sorts for terrorists, in the last two weeks with one suspected of killing at least one Taliban leader.
Al-Libi, who in 2005 managed to escape from a high-security U.S. prison in Afghanistan, was appointed the second in charge when Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahri took charge of Al Qaeda after Usama bin Laden’s death.
Al-Libi was said to run the group’s day-to-day operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas and managed outreach to Al Qaeda’s regional affiliates.