Drone strike reportedly killed Al Qaeda No. 3 Mustafa Abu al-Yazid
Al Qaeda's central leadership says it lost Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a founding member of the group, in a May 22 drone strike in Pakistan's tribal area.
• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
While Yazid’s death is being claimed as a counterterrorism victory, analysts say that Al Qaeda is quick to appoint successors to key posts.
A statement issued by al-Qaeda’s media wing announced that Mr Yazid had been killed, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites.
“His death will only be a severe curse by his life upon the infidels,” the statement said. “The response is near.”
US counter-terrorism officials see Mr Yazid’s apparent death as a victory, although al- Qaeda has succeeded in replacing a number of previous holders of its number-three slot killed by the CIA.
Mustafa Abu al-Yazid … was hit in a drone strike last month, an official with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) said. "He was killed on the 21st or 22nd, I believe," he said.
In Washington US security officials told reporters they had "strong reason" to believe Yazid was dead. "In terms of counterterrorism, this would be a big victory," a source told Reuters….
Dawn, a Pakistani English-language daily, reports that in addition to Yazid, the drone attack killed his wife, three daughters, one granddaughter, and other men, women, and children. The strike targeted a tribesman’s house 25 kilometers west of Miramshah, a militant stronghold in the North Waziristan tribal agency that borders Afghanistan.
According to Dawn:
Intelligence officials at the time said six militants were killed but residents said 12 people, including four women and two children, were killed. Six women and two children were wounded and treated at a hospital in Miramshah, residents said.
“He was known as Mustafa in the area. His wife was killed in the strike,” a resident of the village where attack took place said on condition of anonymity.
According to the Associated Press, Egyptian-born Yazid, who is also known as Sheikh Saeed al-Misri, has been involved with extremist movements for more than 30 years. He was a founding member of Al Qaeda and had close ties to Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Ayman al-Zawahri. Long in charge of day-to-day financial and logistical operations, Yazid was tasked with developing linkages between Al Qaeda and the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan since 2001.