Al Qaeda Chief Of Operations In Pakistan Is Dead
The officials told ABC that al-Shahri "played a key operational and administrative role for the group.”
Al-Shahri was in charge of anti-U.S. operations in the region and coordinated attacks with the Pakistani Taliban, according to The Daily Beast. His death comes less than a month after Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, al Qaeda’s second –in-command was also killed in Pakistan.
Al-Shahri may have been a contender to assume duties of al-Rahman, according to the BBC.
Eight of al Qaeda’s top 20 leaders were killed this year, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for defense intelligence, Michael Vikers, told the Associated Press. He said “"within 18-24 months, core al-Qaeda's cohesion and operational capabilities could be degraded to the point that the group could fragment and exist mostly as a propaganda arm."
Officials have not yet said how al-Shahri was killed. Three militant were reportedly killed in a drone attack on the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11, though, and it is possible al-Shahri was one of them, the Associated Press reports.
Despite the success of recent anti-al Qaeda operations, Vickers and CIA director David Petraeus said al Qaeda offshoots will still be a serious threat to the U.S.
Reach associate news editor Hannah Madans here.
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