The Corner

National Security & Defense

A U.S. Air Strike Just Killed a Very Bad Man

The Pentagon says that a U.S. air strike in Libya seems to have killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is not a former U.N. secretary general but instead a former top operative in al-Qaeda’s North Africa affiliate, a veteran of Osama bin Laden’s operations in Afghanistan. He left al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb a few years ago to run his own terror outfit, which perpetrated a big attack and hostage-taking at an Algerian oil facility in 2013. It’s also made millions off of kidnapping Westerners and holding them until their governments pay ransom.

Belmokhtar seems to have been one of the most important Islamist militants in North Africa, so this is a big piece of good news. And yet, the Islamist menace plaguing Algeria, Mali, and Libya (and increasingly, Chad, etc.) won’t be stopped by picking off leaders.

Patrick BrennanPatrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

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