Al-Qaeda Commander Killed in Pakistan
By William Tucker
Al-Qaeda’s media arm As-Shahab has confirmed that Mustafa Abu Yazid, aka Sheikh Saeed al Masri, was recently killed in Pakistan by a U.S. drone strike. Yazid was the chief financial officer for the terror group as well as the commander of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Many media outlets are claiming that Yazid was the number three individual in al-Qaeda’s leadership structure; however it is doubtful that this position exists. In fact, the U.S. intelligence community does not refer to the position and prefers to rank individuals by their proximity and relationship to Osama bin Laden.
The loss of Yazid confounds an ongoing problem for al-Qaeda. The movement has been losing revenue due to international banking laws and a decline in popularity. Furthermore, Yazid also served as commander of troops in Afghanistan and his loss could impact al-Qaeda operations in that country. That being said it is unlikely that his death will have an impact on the Taliban insurgency or the larger issues in the war on terror.
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