The 7 Terrorist Leaders Still On the US Hit List

Posted on by Igor Derysh (IgorDerysh)
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Osama bin Laden was undoubtedly the biggest terrorism target in the world. Eliminating the leader of al-Qaeda is nothing short of a great accomplishment, especially after more than a decade of searching. He was, however, just one man. In the global war on terror, if you take out one leader, eight other guys will pop up to take his place. In the United States' current case, there are at least seven major extremist leaders that the United States is still after.

7. Abu Yahya al-Libi

A Libyan citizen and high ranking al-Qaeda official, al-Libi has been deemed by the CIA as a brash rising star in the organization. He is a hardline extremist who has been releasing propaganda videos targeted at extremists in Northern Africa and has been involved in the attempted removal of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya. The Pakistanis had captured him in 2002 and handed him over to the US, but he escaped in a high profile prison break from Bagram Airbase in 2005.

6. Abdelkarim Hussein Mohamed Al-Nasser

Al-Nasser has been on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist list since it was created in 2001. He is the leader of Hezbollah Al-Hejaz, a militant group connected to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Kuwait. He was indicted as part of the operation to bomb the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, which killed 19 US Air Force personnel and one local while injuring nearly 400 people.

5. Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso

Al-Quso is a Yemeni native who continues to hide out somewhere in the country. He had been one of bin Laden's right-hand men during the U.S.S. Cole bombing and was heavily involved in planning and financing the 9/11 attacks. He has been indicted on more than 50 charges relating to terrorism and had even been questioned by the FBI while he was held in jail in Yemen before he was able to escape.

4. Ilyas Kashmiri

Kashmiri has been one of the people mentioned as a potential successor to bin Laden, particularly in Pakistan. A former member of the mujahideen, much of his extremism has been targeted toward India and Pakistan. He had been arrested and tortured for attempting to assassinate former president Pervez Musharraf but was released. He has been involved in many attacks based in Pakistan and is reportedly the leader of a group tied to or part of al-Qaeda.

3. Saif al-Adel

Al-Adel is one of the top people in Al-Qaeda. Based in Egypt, he has trained and financed operations in Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Somalia. Back in the 1980s, he was believed to be involved in the assassination of Egyptian leader Anwar al Sadat. He fled the area and began to recruit people to the mujahideen. Al-Adel is one of the top, if not the top guy, in the region. He is heavily involved with training and financing jihadists in Somalia and Afghanistan and has been sought by the US government for well over a decade.

2. Anwar al-Awlaki

Al-Awlaki should be fairly known to American audiences by now because the media always mentions him as a top Al-Qaeda militant who is originally from New Mexico. His ability to recruit English speaking members and his charisma is the aspect that the CIA and military most fear. Though his actual rank in Al-Qaeda is unknown, he is undoubtedly a major recruiter of jihadists on the web as well as in Yemen. His reach, particularly through the internet and across language barriers, makes him very dangerous. He is believed to be responsible for recruiting the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day underwear bomber and inspiring the would-be Times Square Bomber. He has been approved for targeted drone attacks in Yemen; in fact, one just missed killing him earlier this month.

1. Ayman Al-Zawahiri

This is the man that everyone points to as the no-brainer replacement for bin Laden. Although he is reportedly a better number 2, his rank in Al-Qaeda makes the Egyptian-based terrorist very powerful. He is believed to be one of the founding members of Al-Qaeda and is regarded as the brains of their operations. He is very influential in Egypt, but many doubt that he can take over the global terror network. The United States has targeted him and is offering a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture, five times as much as anyone else on the list.

Is Al-Qaeda Still The Biggest Threat To US?

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