In what seems to be the only way we find out about who might be the second most powerful man in the al-Qaeda terrorist network, the U.S. is claiming that they've killed Sakhr al-Taifi--al-Qaeda's supposed second in command.
In case you were wondering, the U.S. has been efficient in taking out Al Qaeda's alleged number twos--Atiyah Abd al-Rahman last August, Abu Qaswarah in 2008, and Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi was arrested in 2006. To be more specific, "[o]ver the last two years, the U.S. has steadily eroded Al Qaeda's leadership ranks. U.S. drone missile strikes during that time period have killed at least 18 senior Al Qaeda leaders and commanders, as well as several top Taliban commanders," reports The Los Angeles Times' Alex Rodriguez.
Now it's time to add Sakhr al-Taifi to that list. According to The New York Times' Rod Nordland, NATO officials said Taifi was killed during an airstrike in Afghanistan. According to NATO he was in charge of organizing foreign insurgent fighters and oversaw the transport of militants into Afghanistan.
But going back to that endless list of supposedly important Al Qaeada's second in commands that we've taken out, Nordland adds, "However, there are no known published references to Mr. Taifi, and nobody by that name (or by two pseudonyms given by the military, Mushtaq and Nasim) appears on the official United Nations blacklist of Al Qaeda terrorists, which has several hundred names."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.