Pakistan, March 16 — A U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles into Pakistan’s North Waziristan region on Tuesday, killing 10 militants, the latest such strike on a major al Qaeda sanctuary, officials and residents said.
WASHINGTON — A strike by an unmanned drone last week killed a senior commander of Al Qaeda who had played a significant role in planning the killing of Central Intelligence Agency operatives in late December at a base in Afghanistan, according to American officials…
According to a United States counterterrorism official, the Qaeda operative killed last week was Hussein al-Yemeni. The drone missile struck in Miram Shah in North Waziristan, a part of Pakistan where Al Qaeda is considered well dug in.
Aggressive attacks against al-Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal region have driven Osama bin Laden and his top deputies deeper into hiding and disrupted their ability to plan sophisticated operations, CIA Director Leon Panetta said Wednesday.
So profound is al-Qaeda’s disarray that one of its lieutenants, in a recently intercepted message, pleaded with bin Laden to come to the group’s rescue and provide some leadership, Panetta said. He credited improved coordination with Pakistan’s government and what he called “the most aggressive operation that CIA has been involved in in our history,” offering a near-acknowledgment of what is officially a secret war.
“Those operations are seriously disrupting al-Qaeda,” Panetta said. “It’s pretty clear from all the intelligence we are getting that they are having a very difficult time putting together any kind of command and control, that they are scrambling. And that we really do have them on the run.”