Skip to main content

NATO: Senior al Qaeda leader killed in Afghanistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:28 AM EDT, Tue May 29, 2012
  • Sakhr al-Taifi, a Saudi al Qaeda leader, and another al Qaeda member are killed
  • Al-Taifi was al Qaeda's second-highest leader in Afghanistan, NATO says
  • No civilians were harmed in the airstrike, ISAF says

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A senior al Qaeda leader and another member of the terrorist network were killed in a security operation by Afghan and coalition forces, NATO said Tuesday.

Sakhr al-Taifi, a Saudi al Qaeda leader, and the other al Qaeda member, who was not identified, were killed Sunday in the eastern Kunar province, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

Al-Taifi, also known as Musthaq and Nasim, was al Qaeda's second-highest leader in Afghanistan, responsible for commanding foreign insurgents and directing attacks against coalition and Afghan forces, NATO said.

Targeting al Qaeda's messages
Penetrating al Qaeda's most dangerous

He frequently traveled between Afghanistan and Pakistan, carrying out commands from senior al Qaeda leadership, according to NATO. He also supplied weapons and equipment to Eastern insurgents and managed the illegal transport of insurgent fighters into Afghanistan, NATO said.

After identifying al-Taifi and the other al-Qaeda terrorist, and ensuring no civilians were in the area, ISAF engaged the targets with a precision airstrike. A follow-up assessment of the area determined no civilian property was damaged and no civilians were harmed, ISAF said.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.