By Ria Novosti
Al-Qaeda’s second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, is dead, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Tuesday.
U.S. officials earlier said al-Libi was killed by a drone strike in northwest Pakistan on Monday, news agencies reported.
Al-Libi’s death is “another serious blow to core al-Qaeda,” CNN quoted Carney as saying. He was unable to provide further details.
The death, if confirmed, marks the culmination of a long hunt for al-Libi, who had been high on the U.S. wanted list for years. In 2009 the FBI offered $1 million for information concerning the whereabouts of the Libyan-born militant, who had managed to escape from U.S. custody at Bagram prison in Afghanistan in 2005.
Al-Libi went on to become the public face of the terror network.
Following the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, al-Libi became the number 2 man in Al-Qaeda after Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Al-Libi was an “experienced and versatile” leader who played a key role in planning attacks on Western targets, a U.S. official told Reuters.
A senior member of Pakistan’s Taliban confirmed Al-Libi’s death to Reuters, calling it a “big loss.”