Drone Strike in Pakistan Kills Top Al Qaeda Operational Commander

Al Qaeda issued a statement saying its operational chief and CFO, the Egyptian born Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, also known as Saeed al-Masri, was killed by a missile fired from a drone in Pakistan some time in this last two weeks. A Pakistani intelligence official says Yazid was considered the operational commander for all Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Yazid was killed while staying at a Taliban compound in the small village of Mohammed Khel, located in the Al Qaeda friendly North Waziristan region of Pakistan. Bill Roggio reports that Yazid was killed on May 21, when drones fired four missiles into the village.

Yazid is the most senior Al Qaeda leader to be killed in the drone bombing campaign, Roggio says, and it will be hard for the terrorist group to replace him. He put Yazid’s name at the top of the long list of senior Al Qaeda and Taliban figures killed by the CIA operated drones.

The 9-11 Commission identified Yazid as Al Qaeda’s “chief financial manager,” responsible for handling all payouts from the terrorist group’s coffers. We can presume he also had extensive ties with many sympathetic and wealthy donors located in the Gulf Arab states.

-- Greg Grant

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