Washington Free Beacon
Online al Qaeda jihadists revealed earlier this month that a senior al Qaeda leader was killed in a CIA-led drone strike inside Pakistan's northern territory.
A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the reported death of Abdallah al Adam, who was an up-and-coming senior leader in charge of security and intelligence operations for the terrorist group.
US officials described al Adam as a key al Qaeda commander who had emerged in recent years since the death of other senior leaders. His death, if confirmed in a formal martyrdom statement from the group, would be viewed as another major victory for the covert CIA and US military teams pursuing senior al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and elsewhere for more than a decade.
The Long War Journal, quoting online posts translated from Arabic, first reported the death of al Adam.
One online jihadist described al Adam in a posting as a "teacher of security and intelligence."
Several US officials declined to comment on the death of al Adam, reported April 20, noting CIA drone operations and the US "kill list" of senior leaders targeted for assassination are closely guarded secrets.
An online jihadist named Sanafi al-Nasr who in the past has posted death notices for significant jihadists provided apparent confirmation of al Adam's death, according to one official.
Monitoring of jihadist websites since mid-April revealed no authoritative al Qaeda spokesmen have challenged reports of al Adam's death and terrorist lamentations about it.
The drone attack that killed al Adam was believed to have been carried out April 14 against a house in the remote Pakistani federally administered tribal area of Manzar Khel near Datta Khel, located on the Afghan-Pakistani border in North Waziristan.
According to both US and Pakistani news reports, the drone strike killed between four and six people, according to local tribesmen who stated two missiles were fired fifteen minutes apart and five bodies were recovered. The attack followed the arrival of a large-cab pickup truck at the residence.
Two al Qaeda jihadists issued a message on Twitter six days later that said al Adam had been killed in the North Waziristan drone strike.
Counterterrorism specialist Bruce Riedel said he agrees with those who say al Qaeda's demise "has been announced prematurely."
"If al Adam was just killed, it is a sign the drone war needs to continue as al Qaeda replaces lost lieutenants," he said in an interview.
Al Adam was described by US officials as a senior trainer and intelligence and security specialist for al Qaeda jihadists in Pakistan.
His reported death would indicate the central al Qaeda group no longer maintains tight security for its top leaders as it did in the past.
Al Adam was said to have had close ties to surviving al Qaeda leaders, including current leader Ayman al Zawahiri. He also was a key propaganda figure for the group despite not being photographed or having appeared on videotape.
Al Adam lectured extensively on military, intelligence, and security issues and was considered a rising figure for the group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York and Washington.
Little is known about his background. However, al Adam had used the alias Abu-Ubaida al Maqdisi, suggesting he may have been of Palestinian origin. He also claims to have learned terrorism methods from a Saudi al Qaeda leader known as Abd-al-Aziz Muqrin.
Additionally, al Adam was reportedly a close associate of Abu Zubaydah, the al Qaeda terrorist currently held at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Al Adam was considered a more pragmatic al Qaeda leader who sought to fashion al Qaeda's public image in ways designed to gain support from the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. He advocated a less dogmatic approach to winning support from Muslims by gradually imposing Sharia law to avoid turning people against the group.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 04/29/2013
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