I am so jaded, I never know what to believe anymore when I read these reports:
Two senior members of Al Qaeda and the son-in-law of its No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were among those killed in the American airstrikes in remote northeastern Pakistan last week, two Pakistani officials said here on Wednesday.
The bodies of the men have not been recovered, but the two officials said the Pakistani authorities had been able to establish through intelligence sources the names of three of those killed in the strikes, and maybe a fourth. Both of the officials have provided reliable information in the past, but neither would be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the news media.
American counterterrorism officials declined to say whether the four Qaeda members were in fact killed in the raid, or whether the men were among those who were the targets of it. But one American official said, “These are the kinds of people we would have expected to have been there.”
If any or all were indeed killed, it would be a stinging blow to Al Qaeda’s operations, said the American officials, who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized by their agencies to speak for attribution. They said all four men named by the Pakistani officials were among the top level of Al Qaeda’s inner circle of leadership.
If this is true, the bombing last week was certainly much more successful than I initially believed, although we still managed to take a PR hit for all the civilian casualties.