White House confirms death of al-Qaida No. 2

June 5, 2012 - 3:15 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is confirming the death of al-Qaida's second-in-command, calling it a "major blow" to the terror network.

White House spokesman Jay Carney would not confirm how Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed. An American official says he was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

Carney described al-Libi as an operational leader and a "general manager" of al-Qaida. He says al-Libi had a range of experience that will be hard for al-Qaida to replicate and brings the terror network closer to its ultimate demise than ever before.

Al-Libi is the latest in the dozen-plus senior commanders removed in the clandestine U.S. war against al-Qaida since Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden last year.