Al-Qaeda Website Posts Video of ‘Dead’ Al-Libi

The confusion over al-Libi's death shows the difficulty of knowing who exactly is killed in the US drone war

An Islamist website published a video message on Tuesday from Abu Yahya al-Libi, the high-level al-Qaeda member that Washington supposedly killed in a drone strike for at least the second time, although it was unclear when the message was recorded.

Obama administration officials announced last week that they killed al-Libi in a drone strike in Pakistan, parading the feat as a major blow to al-Qaeda. The same accomplishment was “confirmed” by U.S. officials in 2009.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated websites denied the reports and promised video proof that al-Libi was still alive. The video posted does not mention the U.S. reports of his assassination and was only dated with the current Islamic year 1433.

The subject of the video speech was Syria. “We call on our brothers in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey to go to help their brothers,” he said.

Whether the video is legitimate as proof of life is unclear at this point. But what this case shows is that U.S. officials have, with no evidence, tried to claim a major victory in the fight against al-Qaeda by killing the group’s supposed No. 2 and thereby vindicating the strategic worth of the drone war. The confusion also highlights how difficult it is to know who is actually being killed by the CIA’s unaccountable drone strikes.

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Author: John Glaser

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