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» 06/06/2012
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
08/31/2012 PAKISTAN - UNITED STATES
North Waziristan: U.S. drones kill Islamist leader of the Haqqani Network
08/07/2008 PAKISTAN – AFGHANISTAN
Pakistan: 25 fundamentalists killed in clashes between army and Taleban in North West
10/08/2008 PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN
Army responds to Pakistani parliament today about "war on terror"
by Qaiser Felix
07/23/2008 PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN
Pakistan, government meeting to stop Islamic threat
02/01/2008 PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN
Key al-Qaeda in Afghanistan leader “killed”

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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