Al-Qaeda's No.2 dead: White House

Jun 06, 2012, 02:55 IST | PTI

Al-Qaeda's second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi has died in a US drone strike, the White House confirmed today, with a top Obama aide terming it as a major blow to the terrorist outfit.

"Al-Libi is dead," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced at his daily news conference. 

However, he refused to discuss how Libi's life came to an end, both the circumstances and the location of his death.

"I can tell you that our intelligence community has intelligence that leads them believe that al-Qaeda's number two leader is dead," Carney said amidst news reports that al-Libi died in a US drone strike in Pakistan.

"Removing leaders like al-Libi from the top of al-Qaeda is part of the effort of the Obama Administration to defeat and dismantle the terror network," Carney said.

49-year-old Libi, considered the most-prominent figure in al-Qaeda after Ayman al-Zawahiri, carried a reward of USD one million on his head.

Carney said Al-Libi was very much an operational leader, a general manager of the organization and his absence would be a "job hard to fill" and it is very much possible to find a suitable replacement for him in the near future.

"It is a job that is hard to fill. There may not be ... the duration of late that people have held that job... there could be a lot of candidates hoping to fill. So the point is that removing leaders ... from the very top of al-Qaeda is part of an ongoing effort to ultimately disrupt and defeat al Qaeda," he said.

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