With killing of al-Qaida’s No. 2, some good news — finally

For a nation in need of some good news, the killing of perhaps the most important person in al-Qaida’s post-bin Laden leadership certainly qualifies. From the Associated Press:

U.S. and Pakistani officials said Saturday that al-Qaida’s second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan, delivering another big blow to a terrorist group that the U.S. believes to be on the verge of defeat.

Al-Rahman was killed Monday in the lawless Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan, according to a senior administration official who insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence issues. …

A Libyan national, al-Rahman never had the worldwide name recognition of [Osama] bin Laden or bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri. But al-Rahman was regarded as an instrumental figure in the terrorist organization, trusted by bin Laden to oversee al-Qaida’s daily operations.

At the Washington Post, David Ignatius explains a bit further why al-Rahman might have been a bigger target than al-Zawahiri:

Atiyah, as he was known to analysts, was bin Laden’s channel to the world. Their correspondence was the most important prize taken from bin Laden’s compound when he was killed May 2. They talked about everything: strategy, personnel, operations, political setbacks. Whatever thread still held al-Qaeda together passed from bin Laden through to Atiyah.

The Libyan-born Atiyah’s death blunts al-Qaeda’s ability to stage a new mega-attack against America; it brings the top leadership of the group closer to extinction; and it increases the likelihood that the organization’s center of gravity will shift from Pakistan’s tribal areas to one of the affiliates, such as the robust al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen.

Asked recently to name the most important remaining leader in al-Qaeda, a senior U.S. official had said it was Atiyah. He explained that the nominal successor to bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was actually a secondary figure — more a leader of the group’s Egyptian wing than of al-Qaeda as a whole. It would be in America’s interest if Zawahiri rather than Atiyah were dominant, this official said, because Zawahiri was a divisive figure whose ad-hoc tactics were less threatening to America.

While I would love to believe al-Qaida is on the verge of defeat, it seems a little over-optimistic at this juncture. A few more successful operations like this one, however, and we may finally be close to winding down the active war against Islamic terrorists.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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49 comments Add your comment

ByteMe

August 29th, 2011
6:38 am

For a nation in need of some good news, the killing of perhaps the most important person in al-Qaida’s post-bin Laden leadership certainly qualifies

Attention-deficit disorder.

al Qaeda’s #1 has been dead only 119 days. Pretty sure that was “good news” as well. Some people just need an infusion of “good news” more frequently, huh?

jconservative

August 29th, 2011
7:06 am

“…we may finally be close to winding down the active war against Islamic terrorists.”

I agree with this statement. But it contains a danger. The USA has always had a tendency to”relax our guard”. There are enough “free lance” al-Qaida types out there to keep us occupied for another couple of generations. As long as there are suicide bombers out there we cannot relax our domestic security.

Ayn Rant

August 29th, 2011
7:22 am

Terrorists, both foreign and home-grown, will always be with us in this over-populated world of billions of human beings. Terrorists are effective when acting alone, but much more effective when managed and coordinated.

It is indeed good news that al Qaida “leaders” are being toppled in rapid succession. That terrorist organization planned and carried out the most brilliant, diabolical terrorist act in history: a dozen or so young men in jeans and sneakers, armed only with box cutters, devastated the heart of the American financial empire and triggered the political and economic events that have brought our nation to its knees.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 29th, 2011
7:23 am

while I agree with jcon’s take, and while killing any terroristis better than killing non-terrorists (for example the 25,000 – 200,000 Iraqis we have killed since 2003)as a result of a “global war on terrorism”; our present “whack a mole” strategy is costly and otherwise ineffective. think about it; we are approaching the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and it took roughly 9 1/2 years to capture/kill bin Laden. excuse the metaphor, but only because I think there are far more roaches; but terrorists are like roaches. that is to say; if you see/kill one, you have a problem, because there are 100 for every one you see. so, while you should nerve pass up the chance to kill one on the kitchen floor, perhaps you would do well to find out why the pests are determined to live in your home (food and water – and we’re essentially competing for the same “food and water”) and go about the business of addressing the problem from that perspective, as opposed to “waging a (conventional) war”. and, I may raise some eyebrows, but I part company with the paleo-cons when it comes to thinks like GITMO, Predator strikes and sanctioned assassinations. when fighting terrorists there are only two options; kill them or ignore than. ergo, by definition, counter-terrorism suggests we need to “terrorize” the terrorists. otherwise; we need to simply accept that terrorism is a fact of life; and protect ourselves as best we can, but realize we cannot end it.

They Call him Gipper, Gipper, He lives in a World Full of Wonder...

August 29th, 2011
8:01 am

WHAT! You think it would be premature to unfurl the Mission Accomplished banner! At least you did try to praise this administration’s accomplishments, Kyle. Good for you. Now pay your taxes so we can afford to continue this never-ending war on terrorism and make sure to press for making the billionaires pay their share as well. Oops! Should I have incorporated something “fair” in that line. How about this. I think it fair to base one’s taxation for protection — a war tax if you will — on one’s total worth, like buying an insurance policy to protect against unnatural catastrophies. How much do you figure a billionaire should pay to protect his assets versus a thousandaire. Who has the most to lose especially if the thousandaire is the one called upon to protect the billionaire’s assets.

JF McNamara

August 29th, 2011
9:13 am

“With killing of al-Qaida’s No. 2, some good news — finally”

What is the bad news? Aside from our manufactured crisis on the debt ceiling, we’ve been on a good news roll for about a year. Economy improving, Iraq and Afghanistan under some semblance of control, Osama dead, Libya working out, and natural disasters being handled competently.

If we can keep the Republicans in congress from doing something else dumb, we should have a pretty boring, progress making year through the election cycle.

getalife

August 29th, 2011
9:15 am

I guess getting obl, crushing aq and winning Libya was not considered good news to kyle wingnut.

Here is the best new kyle:

Four more years!

getalife

August 29th, 2011
9:19 am

“It does hold the prospect of a strategic defeat, if you will, a strategic dismantling, of al-Qaida,” incoming CIA Director David Petraeus said in July.

Is that good news kyle?

Wake up.

This President is competent with major accomplishments if you bother to take a look at them.

There is only one choice this cycle.

Four more years!

JKL2

August 29th, 2011
9:29 am

getalife- This President is competent with major accomplishments if you bother to take a look at them.

I didn’t know the president was moonlighting as a CIA assassin. I tend to liken his leadership style to that of Nero’s. Sitting in the corner as the world burns around him.

MrLiberty

August 29th, 2011
9:34 am

Is he really dead or are we going to hear about him being killed again in another couple of years to get everyone excited? The history of government lies in this “war” are too numerous to count. The number of al-Quaida leaders that have been killed more than once could fill a book.

Face it, we motivated all of this hatred with our foreign policy and our meddling in the middle east since after WW1. The US government is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of several million people either through its support of oppressive dictators or through its horrible and deadly sanctions. 9-11 taught us nothing. We have been doing more of the same and then some since.

Killing the leaders of this group will mean nothing since we have only worsened the actions that generated the hatred in the first place. And if those actions were legal, moral, and constitutional that would be one thing, but they are not.

Time to bring all of our troops home and start minding our own business and let the middle east settle its own issues without the presence of our imperial colonialist military.

carlosgvv

August 29th, 2011
9:36 am

Islamic schools have been taking in young boys and indoctrinating them into radical Islam for many years now. The result is a constant supply of Islamic fanatics ready, willing and able to kill in the name of Allah. With the huge depth they have of Islamic killers, losing their number two will mean little or nothing to al-Quida. There is a long line of fanatics just waiting to take his place.

getalife

August 29th, 2011
9:47 am

After thoroughly destroying all cons on the Jay Bookman blog, I have come here seeking fresh meat. Not you Andy. I already crushed you.

I am a proud American supporting the reelection of President Obama due to his competence in dealing with the gop terrorist party and his long list of accomplishments.

So in the words of one of our worst president ever:

Bring it on.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
9:54 am

“What is the bad news?”

Oh, I think if you talk to some of the 2 million people without power this morning, or the millions who have been out of work for YEARS now, or the families of the Seal Team Six members who died in a helicopter crash last month (the dog who wouldn’t leave his master’s side was heartbreaking) or the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their homes in the past 2 years, you might have a different perspective than the bunnies and kittens kind of world you live in, JF McNamara.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
9:58 am

getaclue, the next “con” you “destroy” will be the first con you destroy.

I suggest you go back to the Children’s Table.

We have primarily adult conversations over here, and you’re not qualified.

getalife

August 29th, 2011
10:00 am

ti,

I suggest you bring it son.

Whining does not count.

Man up.

We are winning.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

August 29th, 2011
10:02 am

Remember how the anti-anti-terror libtards and the media used to laugh and criticize our President Bush whenever we killed a #2 guy in al Qaeda or the Taliban?

Now when that happens it’s a sign that the Idiot Messiah has a slim reed of credibility for the leftists to grasp on to.

getalife

August 29th, 2011
10:03 am

lil bar,

Another whiner.

Gm

August 29th, 2011
10:04 am

Obama 3 Tea Party Terrorist

This President has killed more terrorist in less then 3 years then big mouth cheney and bush has done in 8 years.
The media never give this great President on Terrrorist creditfor keeping this country safe, yet bigot cheney runs around taking shots at this administration when 3,000 Americans died on his watch.

getalife

August 29th, 2011
10:06 am

Smells like victory.

Did you really think a gang of thugs would beat the greatest socialism on this planet?

They never stood a chance when a competent leader took over the White House.

Let us not forget his focus on aq and obl and he did not cut and run like w did to occupy Iraq.

Occupations are for na zis.

Tommy Maddox

August 29th, 2011
10:17 am

Hopefully the military will keep picking them off – one by one – then start addressing those places/people who teach the business of terror to the young ones.

MarkV

August 29th, 2011
10:28 am

Now let’s see how the “good news” will be turned into an attack on the President.

Ooops. It has happened already.

ByteMe

August 29th, 2011
10:29 am

then start addressing those places/people who teach the business of terror to the young ones.

We could have started addressing them years and years ago by cutting off their money, a.k.a. oil revenue. But noooooooooo….. Oil is cheap and deficits don’t matter, right St. Ronnie?

Tommy Maddox

August 29th, 2011
10:33 am

Do you mean taking their oil so they cannot earn revenue or drilling our own and stop buying their oil?

getalife

August 29th, 2011
10:39 am

Are you cons so partisan you can’t celebrate victories for your country?

Let me shake you cons and remind you that you are still Americans.

Start acting like it cons.

You sound like aq.

Tommy Maddox

August 29th, 2011
10:42 am

Ah, more free insults.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
10:49 am

“Oil is cheap and deficits don’t matter, right St. Ronnie?”

ByteMe, it was Dick Cheney who said that “deficits don’t matter”, not Ronald Reagan. He was referencing Reagan’s electoral victory when making that statement.

ByteMe

August 29th, 2011
10:49 am

Do you mean taking their oil so they cannot earn revenue or drilling our own and stop buying their oil?

Neither. We already drill our own as fast as we can find it. We needed years ago to heed what Carter was saying during the ’70’s oil embargo and cut our energy usage as a nation so that we reduce the money that the Arab potentates need to fund the crappy society they have. We should have a “moon shot” program to cut 50% of our oil imports in 10 years (which is sooner than we’d be able to drill for it) and then sell the technology we invent to Europe on the cheap (and China for not so cheap) to help them with the same goal.

But the corporatists are in charge and the status quo feels so much better to them.

ByteMe

August 29th, 2011
10:50 am

Yes, Ti, I know that, but who do you think started us on this course of overspending and undertaxing in order to goose the US economy?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
10:51 am

“Remember how the anti-anti-terror libtards and the media used to laugh and criticize our President Bush whenever we killed a #2 guy in al Qaeda or the Taliban?”

Well, LBB, if consistency was a trait on either side of the aisle, we’d likely have no need for a blog! :D

Road Scholar

August 29th, 2011
10:52 am

jkl2 and other whiners: Do you really know what goes on during President Obama’s meetings? What questions he asks and what direction he gives? Get a life! (Getalife- no disrespect to you! But some of these folks do not have the info neccessary to say what is going on and how to solve our problems…..that is if the problem is not whining and insulting others!)

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
10:59 am

“Yes, Ti, I know that, but who do you think started us on this course of overspending and undertaxing in order to goose the US economy?”

FDR? :D

Liberals in Congress? :D

Space Monkeys? ;)

getalife

August 29th, 2011
11:01 am

No new meat here.

When our President saved our economy and added two million jobs before the gop acted like terrorists to stop the recovery for the election, that was good news.

When he got obl, crushed, aq, won Libya and no attacks on our country, that was good news.

Look at his accomplishments to see there is more good news than wingnut is writing about.

Try showing a tiny bit of patriotism and act like Americans.

I’m out of here.

They Call him Gipper, Gipper, He lives in a World Full of Wonder...

August 29th, 2011
11:04 am

who do you think started us on this course of overspending and undertaxing in order to goose the US economy?

The Gipper and G.W. Bush, of course.

Road Scholar

August 29th, 2011
11:05 am

Kyle : What’s with Wooten’s blog not allowing comments? Is this his “cut and run”…oh. “post and run” strategy?

Tommy Maddox

August 29th, 2011
11:06 am

And his Congress was comprised of what?

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

August 29th, 2011
11:15 am

Who started us on the path to reducing Obozo’s un-American deficits, reforming the sloth-inducing parasite maintenance programs, and reducing the federal government’s interference in every aspect of life?

The new Republicans in Congress and the tea party.

You’re welcome.

JF McNamara

August 29th, 2011
11:16 am

Tiberius,

There are 2 million people without power today because of a Hurricane. How is that a political failure? Its not like there are people starving to death in New York City…

The millions of people out of work for years now are out of work because of Republican policies creating a housing market crash and banking system failure. It is further complicated by Republican ideas on free trade which allowed America to outsource our entire manufacturing sector. Obama has stabilized the situation, but aside from wholesale interefence in the free markets (against Republican ideals), there isn’t a lot he can do.

Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes because they took on more debt than they could pay back to buy that home. That’s not a political failure or bad news. Its called personal accountability. Isn’t that what conservatism is all about. Are you implying that you want to bail out people who took loans they couldn’t afford.

Seal Teams are a front line military organization. They die, and that is bad news. They are dying, however, because Bush and Rumsfeld began a war with no plan for nation building. There are people dying in a war started 10 years ago. Whose failure is that? How many deaths have there been in Libya?

Junior Samples

August 29th, 2011
11:26 am

As the past has told us, the only way to defeat islamic terrorists is to keep shopping. They really don’t like it when we shop. It’s their kryptonite.

Kyle, sad to hear you believe killing a person(s) or individual(s) will terminate an idea, thought, or belief. I thought you were smarter than that.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
11:26 am

JF McNamara, you are moving the goal posts, very typical of those caught in a mistake.

Kyle didn’t claim any political failure, he claimed bad news and there is plenty of it going around right now.

2 million without power = bad news.

Hundreds of thousands of home foreclosed = bad news.

Plummeting poll numbers for the President and Congress = bad news.

Employment not improving = bad news.

Deficits and debt still skyrocketing = bad news.

Downgrade of bond rating = bad news.

Consumer confidence at it’s lowest level in years = bad news.

Your pathetic attempt to “blame Bush” and the GOP notwithstanding, your view of this country right now is so diametrically opposed to reality that it boggles the mind.

Kyle Wingfield

August 29th, 2011
11:42 am

Junior @ 11:26: I said it could lead to “winding down the active war” against them, not to the termination of their belief.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
11:47 am

“Kyle, sad to hear you believe killing a person(s) or individual(s) will terminate an idea, thought, or belief.”

Oh, I don’t know. Whack enough of them and that whole idea, thought or belief pretty much becomes irrelevant.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
11:49 am

getaclue: “I’m out of here.”

Proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God. ;)

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

August 29th, 2011
12:29 pm

Judging by the quality of the new posters on Kyle’s blog, it’s obvious that Bookman got first choice when they divvied up the Tucker refugees. Seniority, I guess.

getalife

August 29th, 2011
12:33 pm

You cons are too partisan to celebrate America’s victories.

I will keep an eye on you cons .

Jefferson

August 29th, 2011
12:50 pm

Good news indeed.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

August 29th, 2011
12:57 pm

“I will keep an eye on you cons .”

Stalking bloggers is frowned upon on responsible sites, getaclue.

JKL2

August 29th, 2011
1:31 pm

getalife- I am a proud American supporting the reelection of President Obama

Isn’t that another oxymoron? A proud American supporting someone who’s embarrassed to be American.

Sultan Ahmed.

August 29th, 2011
7:19 pm

YES,YES,IT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY ALL THE SOURCES,
HE IS KILLED,HE IS NO MORE.

independent thinker

August 29th, 2011
9:52 pm

So when is madman Cheney going to admit he was wrong about Obama being a wuz on national security?