Thursday, May 05, 2005

"Being 'No. 3' in al-Qaida a Risky Job"

The next guy they promote should just sit on the front stoop and wait for the good guys to come and get him. He can even wear a sign around his neck saying, "I am the new No. 3; please don't kill me".

_The first man dubbed al-Qaida's No. 3, Mohammed Atef, was killed by a U.S. airstrike on Kabul in November 2001 as the Taliban regime crumbled in Afghanistan.

_Abu Zubaydah, the next to assume the role, was captured March 28, 2002, in the eastern city of Faisalabad. The Saudi-born Palestinian survived gunshot wounds in the stomach, groin and leg, and has been in U.S. custody ever since.

_Zubaydah's replacement, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, was arrested in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistani capital, on March 1, 2003. He also is in U.S. custody.

_Ramzi Binalshibh, another top bin Laden deputy, was arrested in the southern city of Karachi on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
[Emphasis added]

Of course, by now, all the current or potential No. 4s have already volunteered for less dangerous work, such as putting together roadside bombs.

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