WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials believe al-Qaida's No. 3,
Sheikh Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, is dead, killed by a U.S. Predator
drone strike in Pakistan's tribal areas within the past two weeks.
Al-Yazid is also known as Sheik Said and Abu Saeed al-Masri.
A U.S. official tells The Associated Press that word of the
al-Qaida operative's death is spreading in extremist circles, and
that U.S. officials have "strong reason" to believe it's true.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the
sensitivity of the operations.
Al-Yazid was the group's prime conduit to Osama bin Laden and
Ayman al-Zawahiri, and he was key to day-to-day control, with a
hand in everything from finances to operational planning.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)