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Al-Qaeda's No. 3 Killed, say US Officials

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Ab-Titchaz, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    Jun 1, 2010
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    WASHINGTON - In what could be one of the hardest blows to al-Qaida since the U.S. campaign against the terrorist organization began, the group's No. 3, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, is believed to be dead, killed by a U.S. Predator drone strike, a U.S. official said Monday.

    The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said word was "spreading in extremist circles" of his death in Pakistan's tribal areas in the past two weeks.

    There were multiple postings on Jihadist websites by al-Qaida's so-called General Command, announcing his death, according to both the IntelCenter and SITE Intelligence Group. SITE said Monday's announcement also stated that his wife, three of his daughters, his granddaughter, and other men women and children were killed.

    Al-Yazid has been reported killed before, in 2008, but this is the first time his death has been acknowledged by the militant group on the Internet.

    Al-Yazid, also known as Sheik Saeed al-Masri, was the group's prime conduit to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, and he was key to day-to-day control, with a hand in everything from finances to operational planning, the U.S. official said.

    The official says his death would be a major blow to al-Qaida, which in December "lost both its internal and external operations chiefs."

    Al-Yazid has been one of many targets in a U.S. Predator drone campaign aimed at militants in Pakistan since President Barack Obama took office. The Egyptian-born militant made no secret of his contempt for the United States, once calling it "the evil empire leading crusades against the Muslims."

    "We have reached the point where we see no difference between the state and the American people," al-Yazid told Pakistan's Geo TV in a June 2008 interview. "The United States is a non-Muslim state bent on the destruction of Muslims."

    The shadowy, 55-year-old al-Yazid has been involved with Islamic extremist movements for nearly 30 years since he joined radical student groups led by fellow Egyptian al-Zawahiri, now the No. 2 figure in al-Qaida after bin Laden.

    In the early 1980s, al-Yazid served three years in an Egyptian prison for purported links to the group responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. After his release, al-Yazid turned up in Afghanistan, where, according to al-Qaida's propaganda wing Al-Sabah, he became a founding member of the terrorist group.

    He later followed bin Laden to Sudan and back to Afghanistan, where he served as al-Qaida's chief financial officer, managing secret bank accounts in the Persian Gulf that were used to help finance the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. After the U.S. and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001, al-Yazid went into hiding for years. He surfaced in May 2007 during a 45-minute interview posted on the Web by Al-Sabah, in which he was introduced as the "official in charge" of the terrorist movement's operations in Afghanistan.

    Some security analysts believe the choice of al-Yazid as the Afghan chief may have signaled a new approach for al-Qaida in the country where it once reigned supreme.

    Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA unit that tracked bin Laden, believes bin Laden and al-Zawahiri wanted a trusted figure to handle Afghanistan "while they turn to other aspects of the jihad outside" the country.

    Al-Yazid had little background in leading combat operations. But terrorism experts say his advantage was that he was close to Taliban leader Mullah Omar. As a fluent Pashto speaker known for impeccable manners, al-Yazid enjoyed better relations with the Afghans than many of the al-Qaida Arabs, whom the Afghans found arrogant and abrasive.

    That suggested a conscious decision by al-Qaida to embed within the Taliban organization, helping the Afghan allies with expertise and training while at the same time putting an Afghan face on the war.

    Al-Yazid himself alluded to such an approach in an interview this year with Al-Jazeera television's Islamabad correspondent Ahmad Zaidan. Al-Yazid said al-Qaida fighters were involved at every level with the Taliban.

    "We participate with our brothers in the Islamic Emirate in all fields," al-Yazid said. "This had a big positive effect on the (Taliban) self-esteem in Afghanistan."

    A September 2007 al-Qaida video sought to promote the notion of close Taliban-al-Qaida ties at a time when the Afghan insurgents were launching their comeback six years after their ouster from power in Kabul.

    The video showed al-Yazid sitting with a senior Taliban commander in a field surrounded by trees as a jihad anthem played. The Taliban commander vowed to "target the infidels in Afghanistan and outside Afghanistan" and to "focus our attacks, Allah willing, on the coalition forces in Afghanistan."

    There is also evidence that al-Yazid has promoted ties with Islamic extremist groups in Central Asia and Pakistan, where other top al-Qaida figures are believed to be hiding.

    "He definitely seems to have significant influence among the Pakistani Taliban and the Central Asian groups," terrorism expert Evan Kohlman said. "They regularly post and share his videos on the Web, just as they would with bin Laden or al-Zawahiri."

    In August 2008, Pakistani military officials claimed al-Yazid had been killed in fighting in the Bajaur tribal area along the Afghan border. However, he turned up in subsequent al-Qaida videos, all of which had clearly been made after the Bajaur fighting.

    U.S. Officials: Al Qaeda No. 3 Killed
  2. Mkosoaji

    Mkosoaji JF-Expert Member

    Jun 1, 2010
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    Hii ni hatua muhimu kwa Obama katika mpango wake kumkamata Sheikh Osama Bin Laden.
  3. The Boss

    The Boss JF-Expert Member

    Jun 1, 2010
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    Wamarekani wanachekesha sana......
    Wao kila mtu ni alqaeda no 2 au alqaeda no funny......
    Kesho utasikia alqaeda no 3 mwingine......
  4. B

    Bull JF-Expert Member

    Jun 2, 2010
    Joined: Nov 4, 2008
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    Baby killer bado wanaendelea na campaign zao za kuuwa innocent people in the name of alqaida, na wale ndugu zao waizraeli sasa wameanza kuumbuka, dunia inaanza kuelewa who is realy terrorist!
  5. afkombo

    afkombo Member

    Jun 2, 2010
    Joined: Feb 9, 2008
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    The U.S. has killed another terrorist, but there are more terrorist plots than ever.

    Reports surfaced Monday night that a missile strike in Pakistan had successfully killed Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, also known as Sheik Saeed al-Masri, who was serving as Al Qaeda’s third in charge. This is just the most recent operation to have targeted terrorist leaders in the Middle East and Central Asia. As Mark Hosenball reports on DECLASSIFIED, “Al-Yazid is the latest in a string of alleged Al Qaeda No. 3s either to have been captured or killed.” In addition to the strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S. has recently sent cruise missiles after Al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
    And that’s in addition to the more conventional military operations carried out by the tens of thousands of troops each in Afghanistan and Iraq fighting counterinsurgency against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and various affiliates and other violent organizations. But, as NEWSWEEK recently reported, U.S. law-enforcement officials have seen a recent surge in terrorism plots inside the U.S. In September 2009 three men were arrested for an alleged plot to bomb the New York City subway system. Army Psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of killing 13 fellow soldiers in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, last November. On Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to ignite a bomb in his underpants on an airplane bound for the U.S. And in May, a car bomb was discovered smoking on the street in Times Square. All of these actors claimed affiliation or inspiration with Al Qaeda or an affiliate such as AQAP or the Taliban.

    These terrorist plots suggest that our recent efforts, and even successes, in pursuing the military or ideological leaders of these groups has not stopped, or even reduced, their followers desire to attack American civilians. But perhaps the fact that the overwhelming majority of these plots have been foiled, or failed on their own, should give us comfort, and not just in the sense that we’ve been lucky. Chasing terrorists in Waziristan with missiles clearly is not going to end, or definitively win, the “War on Terrorism,” and whether we should think about a diplomatic rapprochement with these groups instead of fighting an endless war with them is a legitimate question. If the U.S. could avoid war with the Soviet Union, a.k.a. the “Evil Empire,” why not Al Qaeda or the Taliban? But that does not mean we have nothing to show for our efforts in the Middle East since September 11.

    Click the image to view a gallery of Americans joining Jihadist groups
    More than eight years after the U.S. successfully invaded Afghanistan, and six months to the day after President Obama announced a troop surge to pacify the country, it doesn’t appear that selectively killing militants eliminates, or even necessarily reduces, the number of people seeking to do us harm. And that should come as no surprise. The logical fallacy underlying the Global War on Terror bears a striking resemblance to the misbegotten logic of the Iraq invasion: neither nuclear proliferation nor terrorism can be eradicated militarily. Sure, invading Iraq stopped Saddam Hussein from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, but it did not stop Iran and North Korea from pursuing them. The premise that, in former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton’s words, other rogue states would “draw the appropriate lesson” from Iraq’s fate and duly withdraw from pursuing weapons of mass destruction and threatening their neighbors has been disproved. If anything, the opposite has come to pass, as demonstrated by North Korea’s recent sinking of a South Korean vessel and Monday’s announcement that international nuclear inspectors found Iran has a stockpile of nuclear fuel sufficient to make two nuclear weapons. No matter how strong our military is, we cannot invade every hostile country that might seek nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, and suggesting that we pick off some just encourages the others to protect themselves by acquiring them.

    Likewise, terrorists can be lurking in any country, including our own, and striking them with missiles is not a feasible approach to eliminating them entirely. Destroying terrorist compounds with heavy artillery tends not to frighten younger generations from joining terrorist movements, but rather inspires them to. Just ask Israel.

    So, should the U.S. radically rethink its approach to pursuing terrorists in the AfPak region? Not necessarily. As Hosenball writes, the pursuit of terrorist leaders in Pakistan, initiated by President Bush two years ago and ramped up by President Obama, “has significantly degraded the ability of the Qaeda central command to organize operations like 9/11 or elaborate European plots.” That might explain why so many of the recent terrorist attempts have been so inept. Intelligence gathering has helped break up plots, but some plots have been so poorly executed that even when the government failed to catch them no lives have been lost. Indeed, the Times Square car bomb was so unimpressive that some experts and government officials were initially skeptical of the Pakistani Taliban’s claim that it sent Faisal Shahzad, who has been charged with planting it. But when you are constantly on the run and being hunted, it is considerably more difficult to train and direct an efficient terrorist operation halfway around the world.

    So successful strikes like the one on al-Yazid are indeed victories, but unlike, say, the D-Day invasion you cannot draw a line from them to any realistic point of total victory.