Afghanistan Al Qaeda Commander Killed

A top al Qaeda commander has been killed.

Afghanistan Al Qaeda Commander Killed n this photo released by IntelCenter, an organization which monitors al-Qaida messaging, a Libyan al-Qaida commander Abu Laith al-Libi speaks during a videotaped interview at undisclosed location by al-Qaida One al-Qaida’s top commanders in Afghanistan and a key liaison with Taliban, Abu Laith al-Libi, was killed according to a Web site used by militant groups.

“We congratulate the Islamic nation for the martyrdom of the sheik, the lion, Abu Laith al-Libi,” said the banner which appeared in a section of the Web site reserved for affiliated militant groups and is not open to public posting. The Washington-based SITE Institute which monitors militant sites noted that it seems “the announcement of his death has been confirmed to the forum administrators.”

The attack that killed al-Libi appeared to have taken place in Pakistan. Pakistani intelligence officials and local residents said that a missile hit a compound in a village about 2.5 miles outside Mir Ali in North Waziristan late Monday or early Tuesday, destroying the facility.

The are more commanders where this guy came from, as we’ve learned time and again. And, certainly, this doesn’t address any of the underlying civil problems which the experts say need to be solved to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a failed state. Still, it’s good news; dead terrorists are better than live ones, all things considered.

More important than al-Libi’s death, though, is that the operation took place in Pakistan. If this means that the Pak government is finally getting serious about combating this threat to their country’s survival, it’s welcome news, indeed.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Terrorism, Uncategorized, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. teqjack says:

    “We congratulate the Islamic nation for the martyrdom of the sheik…”

    Yes, indeed. Come to that, congratulations are offered to just about every other nation as well. Keep it up.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    There are really only two viable alternatives in dealing with the situation in Afghanistan. Either we’ve got to figure out how to muster the political will to keep enough troops there indefinitely to deny Al Qaeda and the Taliban the territory or we’ve got to adjust ourselves to the idea that we’ll withdraw and Al Qaeda and the Taliban will reestablish themselves in Afghanistan.

    Unless Pakistan eliminates Al Qaeda and the Taliban from its more or less ungoverned tribal areas, they’ll continue to have a safe haven there to which they’ll withdraw whenever we make things hot enough for them in Afghanistan. Will Pakistan do that? Frankly, I doubt it.

    And I don’t see a national Afghan military capable of preventing Al Qaeda and the Taliban from returning for the foreseeable future. The country is just too fractured and fractious.

  3. Triumph says:

    Freedom is on da mutha fu*in’ march!

  4. Michael says:

    dead terrorists are better than live ones, all things considered.

    Yes, but a captured terrorist is even better. By killing him, we deny AQ the use of the information that only he knew. If we captured him, we would be denying AQ the use of any information that he knew. The first is a minor setback, the second is a significant hit to their planning operation.

  5. markm says:

    “More important than al-Libi’s death, though, is that the operation took place in Pakistan”

    Ats what I was thinkin’. The last time we “went in” we didn’t get the guy(s) we wanted and Pakistan condemned the action (publicly anyhow). Makes me curious what kind of intel we have there.