In his last few months in office, President Bush has redoubled his efforts to cut of the head of Al Qaeda my killing its top leaders. Finally allowing the CIA to go against the terrorists in the Pakistani tribal areas, eight top Lieutenants of the terrorist group have “bought the farm” Although there is some disappointment that the two top guys are still on the loose:
Unleashed CIA Zapped 8 Qaeda Lieutenants Since July
January 18, 2009
In one of his final acts in office, President Bush has been trying to settle unfinished business in his internationally-unpopular “global war on terror.” No, he hasn’t killed Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Abu Ayyub al-Masri. No, he hasn’t pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq. No, he hasn’t closed Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib or Bagram’s prisons.
However, Bush has met privately with groups of Gold Star families, whose relatives made the ultimate sacrifice in wars since 9/11. He has been tender, caring and compassionate with those in grief.
The President also bestowed the nation’s highest award for spywork on his security team, awarding the National Security Medal last week to Director of National intelligence Mike McConnell, CIA Director Michael Hayden and CIA Deputy Director Stephen Kappes. Hayden and Kappes, no doubt, were given the top honor for eliminating eight senior Al Qaeda leaders in missile strikes inside Pakistan in the last six months. Among the dead were operatives planning attacks against the West, sources said.
Here is the CIA’s hit parade, according to a source who provided it to the Daily News:
- Khalid Habib, a veteran combat leader and operations chief involved with plots to attack the West, who served as deputy to Al Qaeda No. 3 Shaikh Sa’id al-Masri
- Rashid Rauf, the mastermind of the 2006 British airliner plot
- Abu Khabab al-Masri, Al Qaeda’s most seasoned explosives expert and trainer, and the man responsible for its chemical and biological weapons efforts
- Abdallah Azzam, also a top aide to Sheikh Sa’id al-Masri
- Abu al-Hassan al-Rimi, a leader who led cross-border operations against coalition forces in Afghanistan
- Abu Sulaiman al-Jaziri, a senior external operations planner and facilitator
- Abu Jihad al-Masri, a senior operational planner and propagandist
- Usama al-Kini, an East African who was chief of Pakistan operations and the planner of last year’s Marriott attack in Pakistan and the bombing of Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade upon her return from exile.
In a farewell message to CIA employees, Hayden alluded to the not-so-covert campaign in Pakistan’s tribal areas, where CIA has maintained constant overflights by unmanned Predator drones. Morale at the agency has soared since Bush unleashed the spooks to blow up any target they can acquire to crush Al Qaeda as a parting gift.
“In the past year alone, a powerful blow has been struck against Al Qaeda. Its operational capability has been damaged and its ideological strength eroded,” Hayden told his spies. “Our ops tempo has been unrelenting.”
As for the elusive High-Value Targets 1 and 2, Bin Laden and Zawahiri, Hayden said Al Qaeda’s Egyptian deputy has put himself more squarely in the crosshairs. “It’s always been my belief that you’ll get Two before you get One. (Zawahiri) is a more visible figure. He’s more operationally involved,” the CIA chief told reporters on Thursday.
Asked by the Daily News at a Friday meeting with reporters why the two goons are still breathing, DNI McConnell replied bluntly: “We can’t find them.”