International

Update: Drone Strike Killed Al-Qaida's 'Leading Propagandist,' Official Says

The man described as al-Qaida's "leading propagandist" and the No. 2 leader in that terrorist organization was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on Monday, NPR, CNN and The Associated Press say they've been told by "a U.S. official."

That word came around 1:40 p.m. ET.

Abu Yahya al-Libi in an October 2011 video obtained by the watchdog group IntelCenter.

hide captionAbu Yahya al-Libi in an October 2011 video obtained by the watchdog group IntelCenter.

AFP/Getty Images

Our original post. Reports: Drone Strike Targeted Al-Qaida's 'Leading Propagandist'

"Pakistani intelligence officials say they have evidence al-Qaida's second in command was in a house hit by a U.S. drone strike but they do not know whether he was killed," The Associated Press is reporting.

CBS News says "U.S. officials confirm" that the strike was aimed at al-Qaida's "leading propagandist," Abu Yahya al-Libi. Those officials could not, however, say whether he was killed or injured.

NPR has not independently heard from two or more officials with knowledge of the strike about whether al-Libi was in fact a target.

According to NBC News, if al-Libi is dead, "it would be another blow to al-Qaida in Pakistan, the so-called al-Qaida Central. The Libyan, believed to be 39 years old, is one of the most influential propagandists in al-Qaida and one of its best known leaders. ... [He] draws much of his credibility from having escaped a U.S. military prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on the night of July 10, 2005. He subsequently appeared in more than 30 videos produced by al Shahab, the al-Qaida media wing, and other militant sites. In December 2009, Pakistani officials erroneously reported he had been killed in a Predator strike, further enhancing his image."

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported in May 2011, al-Libi was formerly a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, "so he is battle-tested."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: