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.