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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
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

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