WASHINGTON: In a major blow to al-Qaeda, its second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi has been killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan, the White House has said.
However, he refused to discuss how Libi’s life came to an end both the circumstances and the location of his death.
“I can tell you that our intelligence community has intelligence that leads them believe that al-Qaeda’s number two leader is dead,” Carney said yesterday amidst news reports that al-Libi died in a US drone strike in Pakistan.
“Removing leaders like al-Libi from the top of al-Qaeda is part of the effort of the Obama Administration to defeat and dismantle the terror network,” Carney said.
49-year-old Libi, considered the most-prominent figure in al-Qaeda after Ayman al-Zawahiri, carried a reward of USD one million on his head.
Carney said Al-Libi, a Libyan national, was very much an operational leader, a general manager of the organization and his absence would be a “job hard to fill” and it is very much possible to find a suitable replacement for him in the near future.
“It is a job that is hard to fill. There may not be …
the duration of late that people have held that job… there could be a lot of candidates hoping to fill. So the point is that removing leaders … from the very top of al-Qaeda is part of an ongoing effort to ultimately disrupt and defeat al Qaeda,” he said.
“I can’t get into details about how his death was brought about, but I can tell you that he served as al-Qaeda’s general manager, responsible for overseeing the group’s day-to-day operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan, and he managed outreach to al-Qaeda’s regional affiliates,” Carney said. -PTI