Al-Qaeda’s number two Atiyah abd al-Rahman has been killed in Pakistan, the United States said on Saturday, claiming another “tremendous” blow to the group following the death of Osama bin Laden.
A senior US official said that Rahman was killed in tribal Waziristan on August 22 after being deeply involved in directing operations for Al-Qaeda. The official did not divulge the exact circumstances of his death.
Local officials in the tribal region however told AFP last week that a US drone strike on August 22 on a vehicle in North Waziristan killed at least four militants. It was not clear if the two incidents were connected.
The senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the death of Rahman would be deeply felt by Al-Qaeda because the group’s new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had relied on him heavily since US Navy Seals killed Osama.
Rahman’s death represents “a tremendous loss for al Qaeda,” the senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Washington has called Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwest tribal region the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda, where Taliban and other Al-Qaeda-linked networks plot attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The death of Rahman represents another success for President Barack Obama’s intensified and often clandestine operations against Al-Qaeda, particularly in the northwestern tribal regions in Pakistan which Washington says is the group’s lair.
They’re going down one by one!