Thursday, January 31, 2008
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Top al-Qaeda leader reported dead

A senior al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, Abu Laith al-Libi, has been killed, senior Western counter-terrorism officials say.

News of Libi’s death first emerged on a website used by Islamists groups.

The website,, said Libi had “fallen as a martyr”, the Reuters news agency reports.

As always, such reports are taken with an initial grain of salt.

MSNBC described al-Libi as follows

An al-Qaeda field commander and spokesman, Abu Laith is an outspoken leader of al Qaeda, appearing in videos and on the internet. It was he in July 2002 who revealed that Bin Laden was still alive, the first comments about the al Qaeda leader’s health after the end of the Afghan conflict. Then in June 2004, he is shown leading an attack on what appears to be an Afghan military outpost and calling for jihad. He is known to operate on the Afghan side of the border, working with the remnants of the Taliban.

And this is almost funny:

In some US intelligence circles, he is seen as al Qaeda’s No. 3.

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