Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Proving Himself, Abu Yazid Is Al-Qaida No. 3 Man

There's a new face of al-Qaida and he can bee seen on videos the group's propaganda arm produces. His name is Mustafa abu Yazid and he is the head of a small command that, among other things, helps direct al-Qaida attacks. A recent Internet appearance came soon after the U.S. killed the head of the Taliban in Pakistan in a Predator drone attack. Al-Qaida filmed a video eulogy for the Internet and abu Yazid was the star in the eight-minute film extolling the virtues of Baituallah Mehsud.

Terrorism experts say abu Yazid is on the rise. He is No. 3 in al-Qaida's organization and heads up one of al-Qaida's most important terrorism networks: the theater of operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. "The leader with the closest relationships with those networks critical to the activities of al-Qaida central in that region is Mustafa abu Yazid," said Vahid Brown, a fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. "And that's why he has become what many people call No. 3 in the organization."

No. 1 and No. 2 are Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Officials say that bin Laden and Zawahiri may have concluded that at this point they more valuable as symbols of al-Qaida, instead of its chief executives. They ceded many of the group's day-to-day operations to trusted allies. Abu Yazid now heads up al-Qaida's general command committee. That's the group in charge of planning attacks and strategy.



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I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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