How Many More No. 2’s Can There Be?

We got Al-Qaeda’s no. 2! Now all we have to do is go get the new one. One more leader and I’m sure we’ll win. This one is extra significant you guys, much more significant than the others since 2002.

– March 28, 2002: Palestinian Abu Zubeida, Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man, is arrested in Pakistan.

– Late October: Saudi Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, the organisation’s top operations manager in the Gulf, is arrested in the United Arab Emirates.

– March 1, 2003: Al-Qaeda number three and suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, is arrested in Pakistan.

– Aug 14: Indonesian Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali, and suspected of being Al-Qaeda’s representative in Southeast Asia and the alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings, is arrested in Thailand.

– June 18, 2004: Saudi Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, Al-Qaeda’s suspected leader in Saudi Arabia, is killed in Riyadh. His predecessor, Yemeni Khaled Ali Haj, had been killed three months earlier.

– May 2, 2005: Libyan Abu Faraj al-Libbi, Al-Qaeda’s number three and the head of the network in Pakistan, is arrested in the northwest of the country.

– Aug 11: A Jordanian of Pakistani origin, Abu Qatada, presented as Al-Qaeda’s “ambassador” in Europe, is arrested in Britain for the second time.

– Feb 27, 2006: Saudi Fahd al-Joweir, chief of Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, is killed near Riyadh. His predecessor, Saleh Al-Oufi, was killed in August 2005.

– June 7: The head of the Iraqi section of Al-Qaeda, Jordanian Abu Mussab al-Zarkawi, is killed in an air raid during a US-Iraqi operation to the north of Baghdad.

– Sept 25: Kuwaiti Omar al-Farouk, lieutenant of bin Laden and suspected chief of Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, is killed by British troops in Basra in southern Iraq.

– Jan 29, 2008: An Al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan, Abu Laith al-Libi, one of bin Laden’s leading lieutenants, is killed by a US missile in northwest Pakistan.

– April 18, 2010: Al-Qaeda’s suspected chief in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, and his military chief Abu Ayub al-Masri are killed in joint US-Iraqi military operations in northern Baghdad.

– June 1: Al-Qaeda says Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, its number three leader and chief of operations in Afghanistan, has been killed.

– May 1, 2011: US President Barack Obama announces that US forces killed bin Laden and recovered his body during a commando operation at Abbottabad, a city just north of Islamabad. ABC

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