Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan on 22nd August in Waziristan tribal belt by a drone, US administration claims.If true it is a big loss for Al-Qaeda. No proof has been made public yet.
The Libyan national who was the network’s former operational leader rose to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 spot after Bin Laden killed in Abbottabad operation.
Panetta said last month that al-Qaeda’s defeat was within reach if the US could mount a string of successful attacks on the group’s weakened leadership.
”Now is the moment, following what happened with bin Laden, to put maximum pressure on them,” He said, ”because I do believe that if we continue this effort we can really cripple al-Qaeda as a major threat.”
He was in his mid-30s and remained a close confidant of Bin Laden and once served as his emissary to Iran.
Al-Rahman was allowed to move freely in and out of Iran as part of that arrangement and had been operating out of Waziristan for some time, officials have said.
He was born in Libya and joined bin Laden as a teenager in Afghanistan to fight former Soviet Union.
After bin Laden killed US found evidence of al-Rahman’s role as operational chief, an officials have said.