March 17th, 2010
05:20 PM ET

Official: Suspected al Qaeda operative believed killed

A suspected al Qaeda member believed to have played a key role in a deadly December attack on CIA employees in Afghanistan appears to have been killed, a U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN Wednesday.

Hussein al-Yemeni was the apparent victim of a strike last week in the Miran Shah area of Pakistan, said the official, who called al-Yemeni "a vicious and dangerous figure who saw himself as an up-and-comer in the terrorist world."

CNN was unable to reach officials in Pakistan on Wednesday to confirm the death.

Al-Yemeni was believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s and had apparent ties to insurgent groups in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the official said.

Al-Yemeni is thought to have played a key role in the December 30 suicide attack on a U.S. base in southeastern Afghanistan's Khost province, the official said. Seven CIA employees and contractors were killed in the attack, the greatest loss of life for the agency since the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed eight agents. The official did not specify who was responsible for the strike or how it was carried out.

The Pakistani and U.S. militaries have been working to rout suspected militants from within the country's borders in the form of airstrikes and arrests. Earlier Wednesday, back-to-back drone strikes killed five suspected militants in the country's northwest tribal region, and at least six Taliban leaders have been arrested in the past month, according to Pakistani officials.

"Al-Yemeni would be the latest victory in a systematic campaign that has pounded al Qaeda and its allies, depriving them of leaders, plotters, and fighters," the U.S. official said. "For them, there can be neither safety nor rest."

– CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Pakistan • World
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. david

    So much hatred in these threads. Not against the enemy...but amongst ourselves. Al-Qaeda has already won. They have set the seeds of mistrust in this country so deep that we will never recover. Sure we may be ultimately able to end the World of them...say in a thousand years...but we will never be the same country we were or as good as we could have been. We are destroying ourselves from the inside and the public doesn't even recognize it.

    March 18, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Dan

    As a veteran, I think this is good news. Those that say this isn't about what one administration is doing differently from another are wrong. W took his eye off the ball. He decided, he and his didn't know how to win a war in Afghanistan and instead tried to distract the American People by going into Iraq

    March 18, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Dan

    President Obama, did they right thing by shifting focus onto the real enemy. Saying that doesn't take anything away from the brave men and women that are fighting in Irag or Afghanistan.

    March 18, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Thomas

    Glad to see Obama is breaking with his campaign promise and continuing the vigorous combat policy that Bush used to keep us safe for 7 years after 9/11.

    March 18, 2010 at 2:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. takohunter

    Now why didn't we do this earlier?

    March 18, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mo Awad

    Thank to the Military and God bless them all. Finally we are finishing off these evil people.

    March 18, 2010 at 2:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Greg

    Good thing our drones killed this insurgent . . . terrorist implies he is attacking civilians and not invading military forces. Too bad the drones have killed ten times as many civilians as enemy combatants. Does anybody else find it a bit messed up that soldiers essentially playing a video game on some base in Nevada or something are killing people across the world with these drones???

    March 18, 2010 at 2:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. deerhunter

    Harry a great idea. That "Microwave Gun" we were working on a while back seems like a wonderful concept just too.... cook these maggots in their holes.

    I salute our boys who have given their lives for this great country of ours. I salute those who are keeping us safe from these scumbags as I am sitting comfortably in my homeoffice and typing my comments. Lord bless our troops and bring them back home safely one day (amen)

    We are winning this war and these gangsters are on the run like roaches.

    March 18, 2010 at 2:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Prd

    Hats off those handling the DRONES, with others they are also the unsung heroes in the battle against the terrorist.Besides eliminating them the new generation needs to be provided the basic amenities of life...,shelter ,food,education & most important employment.Then they will have no time nor justification to step into the shoes of the taliban killed.

    March 18, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mr Ed

    Just how many virgins do these wanna-be martyrs think are out there. There are so many extremists joining the list of dead that soon the only available virgins may well be – the other extremists. Go you champions in uniform.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ashley

    "I see that all these right-wing nutjobs are at it again!All that shoot'em up mentality!How revolting.And it's sad to see how little they value other people's lives."

    So what you're saying, Daniel, is that it is better to do nothing and watch them kill other innocent people? If its not us, its their own people. I believe the reason we are there IS not only because we value other people's lives, but also their quality of life.

    Which is more evil: standing by and watching evil do its work or eliminate evil with blood on your hands? Either way people die. And, personally, I'd rather feel guilty for taking matters into my own hands than to do nothing and watch them kill others knowing I could've prevented it.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. SL

    TO RM:

    I served also-and still do. I agree with Dave. We took our eye off the ball in AF. I didn't understand at the time why I was packing a bag for IQ; and looking back I still don't know why that decision was made. I did what I had to do but it was a bush-league move in my opinion. No pun intended. And lest you think me ignorant and uninformed, I am combat arms, fairly highly rankied, have worked in the Pentagon, have more advanced degrees (in science and engineering) than a compass and a TS-SCI clearance. I was in the loop and up to my neck in it. AND I STILL DONT GET IT. Let Dave have his say. No shame to be had. Godspeed and kudos to our guys and gals for finally starting to get it done!

    March 18, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Wayne

    Oops, could this be a reflection on our President? Thanks to those that serve under the commander in chief.

    March 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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