Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan, delivering another big blow to a terrorist group.
The Libyan national, who was the network’s former operational leader rose, to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 spot after the US killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on his Pakistan compound in May.
Defense Secretary Leon 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, because I do believe that if we continue this effort we can really cripple al-Qaida as a major threat,” Mr Panetta said.