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    » 06/06/2012, 00.00

    PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN

    U.S. raid kills al-Qaeda no. 2, al-Libi



    According to experts, 49 year old Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi, had the "religious credentials" and "combatant" quality to make him leader. He was killed during a drone attack on the Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan. For the international terror network his is a loss "irreparable damage".

    Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - For U.S. terrorism experts, the death yesterday of Abu Yahya al-Libi is the hardest blow dealt to al Qaeda, thirteen months after the death of Osama bin Laden. The extremist fighter of Libyan origin - as his name reveals - was killed yesterday during a CIA drone raid in Pakistan's tribal area bordering Afghanistan. He was number two in line in the hierarchy of the international jihad, just behind the sheikh and Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri (60 years), but his influence and prestige exceeded his mere numerical classification. Al-Libi was much loved and respected by fighters and credited with possessing what analysts define as the "religious credentials", absent in other leaders, to lend an "inspirational" ideological message to conflict and global terrorism.

    Jarret Brachman, an expert on terrorism at North Dakota State University, told  AFP that "the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi is a devastating blow to the leadership of al Qaeda," so severe as to be defined as "irreparable damage". The researcher adds that there is no one within the international network of terror that has "combination" of key elements such as "academic credentials, personal charisma and the ability to direct and guide fighters at a regional and global level."

    The terrorist, 49 years or so, first joined the terrorist movement in Libya. He studied the Koran and Islamic law in Mauritania, before moving to Afghanistan. He was a proponent of "religious orthodoxy and purity," but was also a skilled orator and an expert in computers and information technology, seen in the many video messages he released over the years. Captured in 2002 by Pakistan, he was imprisoned by the Americans in Bagram prison (north of Kabul), from which he escaped in 2005, an act which later earned him respect and admiration in the international terrorist movement.

    The American drone attack, which led to his death, occurred early yesterday morning in Hassu Khel, a small village south of Mir Ali in North Waziristan tribal area along the border with Afghanistan and a stronghold of fighters and extremists . During the raid from 14 to 16 people died and this is considered the bloodiest in the area since November 2011.

    The line of succession of al Qaeda is difficult to interpret, but in any case U.S. experts say it is a blow to the movement, because no second tier leader has his charisma and preparation. It should be added that al Qaeda is an international network consisting of many cells affiliated with each other, ranging from Pakistan to the Philippines and Indonesia, but that - often - they act in an autonomous and independent manner under the direction of a local leader.

     

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    See also

    07/08/2008 PAKISTAN – AFGHANISTAN
    Pakistan: 25 fundamentalists killed in clashes between army and Taleban in North West
    Fresh violence along the border with Afghanistan, a stronghold for al-Qaeda and Taleban militias. In an overnight clash 25 rebels and one soldier are killed, while an attack in Khar claims the lives of two members of the governing army.

    31/08/2012 PAKISTAN - UNITED STATES
    North Waziristan: U.S. drones kill Islamist leader of the Haqqani Network
    Badruddin, son of movement founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, was targeted in an August 24 raid. He was a commander in the field and with his family members led the group affiliated with al Qaeda. In one week, more than a hundred killed, including civilians, in clashes between militants and the army.

    08/10/2008 PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN
    Army responds to Pakistani parliament today about "war on terror"
    There is great anticipation to learn the exact situation of a war that the new government wants to win in order to uproot to militant extremism. Meanwhile, Islamabad is expelling about 50,000 Afghan refugees, and Afghanistan is seeking peace with the Taliban of Mullah Omar.

    23/07/2008 PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN
    Pakistan, government meeting to stop Islamic threat
    At the center of the discussions are anti-terrorism measures against fundamentalists, who control entire areas of the northwest border with Afghanistan, and have set up permanent courts there. In Quetta, the Pakistani army arrests the local commander of the Taliban armed forces.

    01/02/2008 PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN
    Key al-Qaeda in Afghanistan leader “killed”
    According to some fundamentalist websites and Pentagon sources the target was Libyan Abu Laith al-Libi, 12th on the list of America’s top wanted. He apparently was killed in a pin point attack Monday last on targets in Pakistan’s North Waziristan. Islamabad has yet to confirm events.



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