Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan, a U.S. official tells Fox News.
Al-Rahman was a Libyan national who was considered Al Qaeda’s operational leader before rising to the No. 2 spot following Usama bin Laden’s death in May.
Al-Rahman’s death is a big blow to the terrorist group and comes as U.S. officials have said in the aftermath of bin Laden’s killing that a few more high-profile deaths could break Al Qaeda’s back.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last month that Al Qaeda’s defeat was within reach if the U.S. could mount a string of successful attacks on the group’s weakened leadership.