Did the US. just kill a top al-Qaida figure named Saleh al-Somali? U.S. counter-terrorism officials believe they have but they're waiting for confirmation.
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports:
Two sources familiar with the case tell NPR that they believe the senior al-Qaida operative killed in a drone attack in Pakistan earlier this week is Saleh al-Somali.
Al-Somali used to one of al-Qaeda top propagandists.
He rose through the group's rank and had become an operations planner for them.
The sources said that officials are awaiting DNA proof that it was al-Somali who was hit in the attack.
Al-Somali is considered one of al-Qaeda's senior leaders.
He is thought to be key contact for jihadists and operatives operating in the US and Europe.
He has ties to a Somali militia group called al-Shabab.
If the DNA test bares out their suspicions, it would appear that the U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan have been very effective.
A top Taliban leader was killed by a drone attack this summer.
Every time I see one of these stories I wonder, where exactly do our intelligence officials get the DNA to prove that the dead man is who they hope it is? They would either have to have DNA from the victim, or the victim's family. How do they manage that feat? Does anyone out there know the answer to that?