WASHINGTON – A senior al-Qaida operative was killed by a missile fired from an unmanned CIA Predator aircraft near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border earlier this week, ABC News reported Friday.
Intelligence officials, who were not identified in the report, said al-Qaida operative Haitham al-Yemeni had been tracked for some time with the hope that he would lead them to al-Qaida leader
Osama bin Laden, ABC reported.
With the capture of the No. 3 leader of al-Qaida, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, in northwest Pakistan earlier this month, officials decided to strike at al-Yemeni rather than risk that he would go into hiding, ABC reported.
The CIA declined to comment on the report.
The Predator, armed with Hellfire missiles, is an unmanned aircraft that flies at medium altitude for surveillance and reconnaissance.