The New York Times reports that al Qaeda's number 2, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed by a CIA drone:
A drone operated by the Central Intelligence Agency killed Al Qaeda’s second-ranking figure in the mountains of Pakistan on Monday, American and Pakistani officials said Saturday, further damaging a terrorism network that appears significantly weakened since the death of Osama bin Laden in May.
An American official said that the drone strike killed Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a Libyan who in the last year had taken over as Al Qaeda’s top operational planner. Mr. Rahman was in frequent contact with Bin Laden in the months before the terrorist leader was killed on May 2 by a Navy Seals team, intelligence officials have said.
American officials described Mr. Rahman’s death as particularly significant as compared with other high-ranking Qaeda operatives who have been killed, because he was one of a new generation of leaders that the network hoped would assume greater control after Bin Laden’s death.
Pakistan still had no confirmation on Monday that al-Qaeda’s deputy chief had been killed in a recent U.S. drone strike near the Afghan border, two days after American officials said his death was a major victory in the war against the group. Atiyah abd al-Rahman, a Libyan national, rose to the number two spot when Ayman al-Zawahri took the reins of al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed in May in a U.S. raid in Pakistan.