THE WORLDPOST
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Saleh al-Somali, Senior al-Qaida Member, Reportedly Killed In Drone Attack

***UPDATE 12.11 4:30 PM ET***

ABC News is reporting, citing a senior U.S. official, that the senior al-Qaida figure reportedly killed in a drone attack this week was Saleh al-Somali, a "major operations planner" for the group. MSNBC reported news of the death on Thursday, but were unable to determine the identity of the casualty.

The AP reports on the drone strike, but doesn't mention whether the attack on al-Somali succeeded:

There was a fresh strike Tuesday, according to Pakistani officials. The target of that attack was identified Friday by a U.S government official as Saleh al-Somali, a senior al-Qaida operations planner.

Al-Somali was responsible for the terror group's operations outside the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, reaching into activities in Africa, the official said, adding that al-Somali has likely been involved in plotting attacks against the United States and Europe. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss covert operations.

In addition to ABC, Newsweek reports that U.S. and Pakistani counter-terrorism officials are increasingly confident that al-Somali was killed.

MSNBC's Bob Windrem is reporting that a "high-ranking member of al-Qaida" has been killed by a drone attack today. The high-ranking member is not Osama bin Laden, he says. This would be the first high-ranking member killed in almost a year, Windrem reports.

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