Report: Drone attack in Pakistan killed Al Qaeda “senior operations planner”

posted at 4:32 pm on December 11, 2009 by Allahpundit

Very curious. Pakistani media’s been reporting that the target was Abu Yahya al-Libi, a fish big enough that even a novice like me has heard of him. (He broke out of Bagram prison in 2005 and has been preaching his way up the ranks ever since, reportedly becoming head of the group’s “Libyan wing” and a possible successor to Bin Laden as figurehead.) That’s also the buzz on jihadi web forums. But it’s a red herring, says ABC: The splatter in this case belongs to a top capo named Saleh al-Somali.

According to the U.S. official, Saleh al-Somali was responsible for al Qaeda’s operations outside of the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and formed part of al Qaeda’s senior leadership circle. He is also said to have had “connections with other Pakistan-based extremists.”

Al-Somali was engaged in plotting terrorist acts around the world and “given his central role, this probably included plotting attacks against the United States and Europe,” the official said.

Al-Somali took operations guidance from senior al Qaeda leaders and “translated it into operational blueprints for prospective terrorist attacks,” the official added.

If that’s true, he’s probably a more critical target than even al-Libi, whose chief use to the group is jihadi propagandizing. But is it true? Not only have I never heard of al-Somali but a quick Google search reveals that not many other people have either. Searching an alternate spelling of his first name does, however, reveal that they’ve had him in their sights for a while: He was reportedly the target of another drone strike last month that killed eight people. It’s bizarre that he’d hang around South Waziristan after that, knowing that the U.S. is hot to get him and with the Pakistani military in the area.

Bill Roggio and Long War Journal are always good for interesting details in situations like these. I’ll update when he chimes in. In the meantime, bummer for al-Somali that he doesn’t get a trial in New York, huh?


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Aw.

Akzed on December 11, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Drones are Awesome!

WashJeff on December 11, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Sweep up the ashes and read them their rights.

Chuck Schick on December 11, 2009 at 4:39 PM

Pakistani media’s been reporting that the target was Abu Yahya al-Libi, a fish big enough that even a novice like me has heard of him.

Don’t be so humble, Allah. HotAir has been a very reliable source of information for me since I discovered it several months ago. You and Ed are pretty well-informed, I’d say.

UltimateBob on December 11, 2009 at 4:39 PM

More drones, please

nyx on December 11, 2009 at 4:40 PM

If it is al-Libi, that means the Bagram Four are all killed or captured. Still a reason to raise a glass to his scorched remains.

MadisonConservative on December 11, 2009 at 4:40 PM

I was hoping for Adam Gadhan but any of them will do.

Cindy Munford on December 11, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Job One for a Senior Operations Planner: Plan to get your ass out of the path of an incoming Hellfire missile.

Cicero43 on December 11, 2009 at 4:41 PM

I liked Ace’s reporting of this item as someone winning “the CIA’s 72 virgins sweepstakes.” As for the identity of the deceased, evidently we have to wait a while on that.

jwolf on December 11, 2009 at 4:42 PM

According to NPR we only use drones to “blow up weddings”.

Machiavelli Hobbes on December 11, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Excellent news!!

So,when does the Obama Administration ground the drone,
and have the operator up on murder charges,like the Navy
Seals who were accused of the infamous fat lip saga!!

(I’m kidding)(Sarc).

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 4:49 PM

“You have the right to remain dead…”

Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2009 at 4:50 PM

According to NPR we only use drones to “blow up weddings”.

Machiavelli Hobbes on December 11, 2009 at 4:48 PM

National Pravda Radio drives me crazy. Sometimes they have good ratio shows going in my locale…and other times they’re busy being a moonbat mouthpiece.

Dark-Star on December 11, 2009 at 4:52 PM

I would like to see,a space-based orbital weapons platform,parked over Afghanistan,that can read body
temperatures,and seperate the Jihady goons from the
women and children,and zaaaaaaaaaaaaap,toasted,and
ready for 99 Virginsville!!(Snark).

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Boy president announces new troops for the region to a skeptical nation. Unmanned drone kills “big fish” a few days later. I question the timing of these dubious reports.

SouthernGent on December 11, 2009 at 4:56 PM

So,when does the Obama Administration ground the drone,and have the operator up on murder charges,like the Navy Seals who were accused of the infamous fat lip saga!!

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 4:49 PM

The ROE say you can kill ‘em, but you can’t give ‘em a fat lip.

Cicero43 on December 11, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Will Obowma send Hillary to attend the funeral?

Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Hey they want to be martyrs, we want to blow them up, it’s a win-win for all!

Juno77 on December 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM

I would like to see,a space-based orbital weapons platform,parked over Afghanistan,that can read body
temperatures,and seperate the Jihady goons from the
women and children,and zaaaaaaaaaaaaap,toasted,and
ready for 99 Virginsville!!(Snark).

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Space based Laser platform ( starwars) was killed by Clinton. Imagine where it would be today? My wifes R&D firm was heavily involved in it. The possibilities were/are amazing. Damn democraps.

faol on December 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM

“You have the right to remain dead…”
Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2009 at 4:50 PM
——————————————————-
That’ll solve Holder’s back up log,in trying Jihadys in
New York!!(sarc):)

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 5:04 PM

According to NPR we only use drones to “blow up weddings”.

Machiavelli Hobbes on December 11, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Yep, according to NPR and the sponges who listen to them, we’re creating more terrorists.

Del Dolemonte on December 11, 2009 at 5:07 PM

I say,have the Jihadys brought to New York,and
have a day long event,for a good ole’fashioned
stoneing,that way,Liberals can see,that their
customs are being honoured!!(Snark).

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Last thought of an al qaeda operational planner: “Hey, what’s that warm sensation on my ches…” BOOM!

Fletch54 on December 11, 2009 at 5:08 PM

OT but not really, Big Gov’t has a memo it claims is Eric Holder basically authorizing authorizing Gates to transfer the Gitmo detainees to the prison in Illinois. Breitbart said on Hannity that the Governor of Illinois will be making an announcement sometime in the near future.

uknowmorethanme on December 11, 2009 at 5:12 PM

One must only conclude that it sucks to be al-Somali. (Sung to the tune of Happy Trails).

Mason on December 11, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Sweep up the ashes and read them their rights.

Chuck Schick on December 11, 2009 at 4:39 PM

Then sentence the ashes to a lifetime in Allah’s catbox.

csdeven on December 11, 2009 at 5:19 PM

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Space based Laser platform ( starwars) was killed by Clinton. Imagine where it would be today? My wifes R&D firm was heavily involved in it. The possibilities were/are amazing. Damn democraps.

faol on December 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM

faol:Your wife was part of the project,awesome!

I wonder what projects,besides the F-22 Raptor,
that Obama has killed as well!!:)

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 5:20 PM

In the meantime, bummer for al-Somali that he doesn’t get a trial in New York, huh?

Wait a minute here. AP, are you telling me this guy wasn’t read his Miranda rights before he was blown up? Someone contact the ACLU, stat! We have a war crime on our hands here.

I can’t wait to here Olby’s very Special Comment on these developments here.

/s

Lance Murdock on December 11, 2009 at 5:24 PM

From just the first half-hour of this thread;

Drones are Awesome!

WashJeff on December 11, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Sweep up the ashes and read them their rights.

Chuck Schick on December 11, 2009 at 4:39 PM

More drones, please

nyx on December 11, 2009 at 4:40 PM

If it is al-Libi, that means the Bagram Four are all killed or captured. Still a reason to raise a glass to his scorched remains.

MadisonConservative on December 11, 2009 at 4:40 PM

I was hoping for Adam Gadhan but any of them will do.

Cindy Munford on December 11, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Job One for a Senior Operations Planner: Plan to get your ass out of the path of an incoming Hellfire missile.

Cicero43 on December 11, 2009 at 4:41 PM

“You have the right to remain dead…”
Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Hey they want to be martyrs, we want to blow them up, it’s a win-win for all!

Juno77 on December 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Excellent comments – and, no, I’m not being sarcastic.

The sooner these types are dispatched, the better.

massrighty on December 11, 2009 at 5:25 PM

The sooner these types are dispatched, the better.

massrighty on December 11, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Indeed. The ME is a very target-rich environment, to say the least…and besides defunding the jihadis the best way to cripple them in general is to make the lifespans of their leaders very short.

Dark-Star on December 11, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Saleh al-Somali gets no peace prize.

cyclown on December 11, 2009 at 5:36 PM

I would like to see,a space-based orbital weapons platform,parked over Afghanistan

canopfor on December 11, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Space based Laser platform ( starwars) was killed by Clinton. Imagine where it would be today? My wifes R&D firm was heavily involved in it. The possibilities were/are amazing. Damn democraps.

faol on December 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Rods from God?

Rods from God
Space-launched darts that strike like meteors

A pair of satellites orbiting several hundred miles above the Earth would serve as a weapons system. One functions as the targeting and communications platform while the other carries numerous tungsten rods—up to 20 feet in length and a foot in diameter—that it can drop on targets with less than 15 minutes’ notice. When instructed from the ground, the targeting satellite commands its partner to drop one of its darts. The guided rods enter the atmosphere, protected by a thermal coating, traveling at 36,000 feet per second—comparable to the speed of a meteor. The result: complete devastation of the target, even if it’s buried deep underground.

DSchoen on December 11, 2009 at 5:47 PM

OT: Did anyone see the leaked memo regarding gitmo terrorist being moved to an area around chicago?
http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/11/exclusive-leaked-justice-department-memo-terrorists-to-be-moved-to-camp-gitmo-illinois/

redridinghood on December 11, 2009 at 5:47 PM

The ROE say you can kill ‘em, but you can’t give ‘em a fat lip.

Cicero43 on December 11, 2009 at 5:01 PM

We also can’t integrate them, go through their stuff.

But if their dead?

DSchoen on December 11, 2009 at 5:55 PM

More military drones in the field!!!

Fewer left-wing drones in the White House!!!

landlines on December 11, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Actually it was a burro. Its just so hard to tell the difference with the stiff beards and such.

jbh45 on December 11, 2009 at 6:58 PM

According to NPR we only use drones to “blow up weddings”.

Machiavelli Hobbes on December 11, 2009 at 4:48 PM

This is an outright lie.

orange on December 11, 2009 at 7:13 PM

OT: Did anyone see the leaked memo regarding gitmo terrorist being moved to an area around chicago?
http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/11/exclusive-leaked-justice-department-memo-terrorists-to-be-moved-to-camp-gitmo-illinois/

redridinghood on December 11, 2009 at 5:47 PM

This has been talked about for a while. Illinois has a supermax prison that’s underutilized, so it will be great to have the jobs in the area.

orange on December 11, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Hey they want to be martyrs, we want to blow them up, it’s a win-win for all!

Juno77 on December 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM

It should be, but instead of forming themselves into agreeably obvious targets they insist that we hunt them down to give them what they dreamt about. I guess even fanatical Muslims aren’t convinced of Allah’s benevolence and their own welcome in heaven. How sad is that?

YiZhangZhe on December 11, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Illinois has a supermax prison that’s underutilized, so it will be great to have the jobs in the area.

orange on December 11, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Well great, I hope they rename it Obamamax and erect a statue in his honor.

redridinghood on December 11, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Boy president announces new troops for the region to a skeptical nation. Unmanned drone kills “big fish” a few days later. I question the timing of these dubious reports.

SouthernGent on December 11, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Yeah. I suspect some PR to up those sinking approvals myself… whoever died is sure to become the most important person we’ve ever killed… and surely there was absolutely no collateral damage!

petunia on December 11, 2009 at 8:41 PM

OT but not really, Big Gov’t has a memo it claims is Eric Holder basically authorizing authorizing Gates to transfer the Gitmo detainees to the prison in Illinois. Breitbart said on Hannity that the Governor of Illinois will be making an announcement sometime in the near future.

uknowmorethanme on December 11, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Serves them right for giving us Obama.

petunia on December 11, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Doom on you Saleh al-Somali.

Alden Pyle on December 11, 2009 at 9:05 PM

“you have the right to remain sile…”

“oops, never mind”

JusDreamin on December 12, 2009 at 9:43 AM

I was hoping for Adam Gadhan but any of them will do.

I suspect we’ve already nailed fat boy. Ayman al-Zawahiri too. Haven’t heard from either of those cats in a long time.

Mike Honcho on December 12, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Something had to spook them to get Adam Gadhan back out front and center propagandizing in English. That means the message isn’t for the wouldbe jihadis it’s for the Western World.

Gadhan can’t find a cave deep enough to keep him off the top ten with a bullet list :)

Dr Evil on December 12, 2009 at 6:52 PM