Top Al Qaeda Leader Killed

Abu Laith al Libi served as an al Qaeda field commander.

ByABC News
February 9, 2009, 7:07 PM

Jan. 31, 2008— -- The man who some U.S. intelligence circles reportedly call al Qaeda's No. 3 has been killed in Pakistan, government officials confirm.

"It's significant," a Western intelligence official, who confirmed al Libi is believed to have been killed in this week's attack by an unmanned predator in North Waziristan, tells ABC News. "But it's not bin Laden and Zawahri. They do have an ability to regenerate and replace these guys."

Libyan Abu Laith al Libi served as an al Qaeda field commander and spokesman. He was considered to be responsible for al Qaeda's military operations in Afghanistan, according to intelligence officials.

He was believed to have been behind the suicide bombing that killed 23 people outside the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan last February when Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting inside.

In a 2006 audio interview al Libi said, "We showed the Muslims in Afghanistan that the mujahedeen in Afghanistan are able to organize a strong, orderly opposition that can stop the enemies in their tracks."

A jihadi Web site today carried a banner congratulating the Muslim worldwide community for the "martyrdom of Sheikh Abu Al-Laith Al-Libi."

News reports say al Libi was in his 40s.

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