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Thread: Top Al-Qaida Financier Killed in Strike: #3 Bigger Blow than if Bin Laden had Died

  1. #1
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    Default Top Al-Qaida Financier Killed in Strike: #3 Bigger Blow than if Bin Laden had Died

    Al-Qaida's third in command believed killed
    Source: Drone strike took out co-founder who handled finances

    updated 7:55 a.m. ET, Tues., June 1, 2010

    Al-Qaida's number three — a co-founder of the terror network — has been killed in Pakistan's border area with Afghanistan, according to a statement attributed to the group that was posted on Islamist websites Monday.

    The statement did not say how Egyptian-born Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, who was also known as Sheik Sa'id al-Masri, was killed nor did it identify a successor.

    Al-Yazid was al-Qaida's financial director and ran its operations in Afghanistan. It was al-Yazid who shortly before the September 11 attacks transferred several thousand dollars to Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers.
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    His death has been mistakenly reported before, but this is the first time it has been acknowledged by al-Qaida, whose statement added that his wife, three of his daughters, his granddaughter and other men, women and children were killed.

    One senior U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity told NBC News that al-Yazid was killed in an attack by a missile-carrying Predator drone aircraft.

    Other sources told NBC's Jim Miklaszewski that the attack took place more than a week ago. The U.S. did not want to publicize the death until al-Qaida had confirmed it, which it did Monday.

    'A hand in everything'
    Another official called it "a big victory" in terms of counterterrorism, describing al-Yazid as "the group's chief operating officer, with a hand in everything from finances to operational planning. He was also the organization's prime conduit to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. He was key to al-Qaida's command and control."

    "In some respects, Sheikh Sa'id's death is more important for al-Qaida operations than if bin Laden or Zawahiri was killed," said Roger Cressey, former deputy chief for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and now an NBC News consultant. "Any al-Qaida operation of any consequence would run through him."

    Evan Kohlmann, who tracks al-Qaida for NBC News, added that al-Yazid "was one of the original founders of al-Qaida in 1988, and has served on the group's Shura Council since then. His death is a significant loss for al-Qaida."

    A report Monday that he was bin Laden's brother-in-law was incorrect.

    Al-Yazid, who was 56, had been involved with Islamic extremist movements for nearly 30 years since he joined radical student groups led by fellow Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahri, now the No. 2 figure in al-Qaida after bin Laden.

    In the early 1980s, al-Yazid served three years in an Egyptian prison for purported links to the group responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

    After his release, al-Yazid turned up in Afghanistan, where, according to al-Qaida's propaganda wing Al-Sabah, he became a founding member of the terrorist group.

    He later followed bin Laden to Sudan and back to Afghanistan, where he served as al-Qaida's chief financial officer, managing secret bank accounts in the Persian Gulf that were used to help finance the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington.

    After the U.S. and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001, al-Yazid went into hiding for years. He surfaced in May 2007 during a 45-minute interview posted on the Web by Al-Sabah, in which he was introduced as the "official in charge" of the terrorist movement's operations in Afghanistan..

    MSNBC
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-01-2010 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Top Al-Qaida Financier Killed in Strike: #3 Bigger Blow than if Bin Laden had Die

    Gee, another bad boy based in Pakistan.

    And the US remains focused on Iran and North Korea as the main threats to its interests.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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