The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 9, 2012

Pakistan: U.S. drone kills senior al-Qaida leader

(Continued)

A Pakistani Taliban commander who frequently visits North Waziristan said he met some Arab fighters on Saturday who were "very aggrieved." The Arabs told him they lost a "big leader" in a drone strike, but would not reveal his name or his exact position in al-Qaida.

The Taliban commander spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of revealing his identity to the Pakistani government.

Al-Qaida's central leadership in Pakistan has been dealt a series of sharp blows in the past few years, including the U.S. commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad last year. A significant number of senior al-Qaida leaders have also been killed in U.S. drone attacks in the country.

But the terrorist group has metastasized, and many analysts believe the biggest threat now comes from al-Qaida franchises in places like Yemen and Somalia.

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