The Freeland File
Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
Our best photos from the last 24 hours. See more
Images of May
Miley Cyrus engaged to Australian actor Hemsworth
Stocks rally on central bank hopes, euro rises
EU, Germany exploring Spanish rescue, no request yet
Wisconsin result could inspire further attacks on unions
Untreatable gonorrhoea spreading around world: WHO
NY mayor blasts sugar ban critics: ”That’s a lot of soda”
Louisiana’s bold bid to privatize schools
Florida to continue voter purge in defiance of warning
Iran hopes to seal nuclear agreement
Could it be "Game Over" for consoles?
Tue, Jun 5 2012
A look at the UK’s most beautiful face
Thu, May 10 2012
Our day's top images, in-depth photo essays and offbeat slices of life. See the best of Reuters photography. See more | Photo caption
Enterprise in NY
The Enterprise shuttle floats by Manhattan. Slideshow
D-Day: A look back
Images from the Allied landings at Normandy. Slideshow
Exclusive: Drones "inhumane", dead al Qaeda man's family says
Bomb targets U.S. mission in Libya's Benghazi
Top al Qaeda strategist killed in Pakistan
Fighting at Tripoli airport, gunmen surround planes
Mon, Jun 4 2012
Yemeni militants say they release 27 soldiers
Fri, Jun 1 2012
Pakistan seeks face-saving formula in NATO talks
Thu, May 24 2012
Analysis & Opinion
Let’s end the empty talk about Syria
Rose’s Divine Love
A still image from September 9, 2007 video footage shows Abu Yahya al Libi, a Libyan-born top al Qaeda leader, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan earlier this week, a U.S. official said on June 5, 2012. U.S. officials said that Abu Yahya had recently been considered by U.S. counter-terrorism experts as the No. 2 in the core al Qaeda group led by Ayman al Zawahiri. Zawahiri has headed the group since al Qaeda's founder, Osama bin Laden, was killed last year in a U.S. commando raid on his hideout in Pakistan.
By Hadeel Al Shalchi
Wed Jun 6, 2012 4:52pm EDT
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - The brother of al Qaeda's second-in-command, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike, said Washington's use of the remote-controlled weapons is inhumane and makes a nonsense of its claims to champion human rights.
U.S. officials said on Tuesday that Libyan-born al Qaeda operative Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed by a drone strike in Pakistan, in what was described as a major blow to the militant group.
The attack is likely to fuel an increasingly fierce debate about the legality and morality of the drones, which have become one of the chief U.S. weapons against al Qaeda but which opponents say stretch the definition of the legitimate use of lethal force.
"The United States talks human rights and freedoms for all, but the method they used to kill him is savage," Abu Bakr al-Qayed, brother of al-Libi, told Reuters on Wednesday in a telephone interview.
"The way the Americans killed him is heinous and inhumane," he said, speaking from the town of Wadi Otba, south of the Libyan capital. "We are in the 21st century and they claim to be civilized and this is how they take out people."
"Regardless of my brother's ideology, or beliefs, he was a human being and at the end of the day deserves humane treatment," he said.
For years considered a covert Central Intelligence Agency program, the unmanned aircraft can be remotely piloted from thousands of kilometers (miles) away and can fire missiles at targets at the push of a button.
White House officials say there is nothing in international law that forbids the use of the drones and that, by killing dangerous insurgents, they are making Americans safer.
That view has been challenged by authorities in Pakistan, who are angry because many of the strikes have happened on their soil, and by rights campaigners.
Civil liberties groups argue that the strikes are illegal because they take place outside an active battlefield, meaning the rules of law which allow a combatant to kill their opponent do not apply.
The United States and security analysts say al-Libi was a veteran militant and leader of operations for al Qaeda, a group responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities as well as dozens of other acts of violence.
His brother offered a more nuanced account, describing how al-Libi had gone from being a chemistry student in Libya to hiding out in the mountains of Pakistan's North Waziristan region.
He said his brother, also known as Mohammed Hassan al-Qayed, had been radicalized by his treatment under Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader killed in an uprising last year. Gaddafi's security forces routinely arrested anyone who strayed from officially approved Islam.
"We come from a great line of students of religion, we are a religious family and we all studied Islamist jurisprudence at school. I am an Islamic studies professor," al-Qayed, 57, told Reuters.
"He was a very bright student and always had high marks and he wanted more out of his studies, so was forced to leave Libya... The last time we saw him was in 1990 when he left to study abroad because he was oppressed in Libya due to his beliefs."
"The last time we spoke to him was in 2002, and since then we only know what's happening with him through the media," the brother said.
"I never heard him speak of killing innocent people and don't believe he would ever condone it. He was a Muslim, and we don't kill people without reason."
"My brother was attracted to his ideology because he was oppressed and we were all oppressed and saw great suffering from Gaddafi's regime."
In what one analyst said was a retaliation for al-Libi's killing, a bomb exploded outside the offices of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi early on Wednesday. There was only slight damage.
Al-Qayed said he knew nothing about the attack in Benghazi. Asked if he expected any reaction inside Libya to his brother's killing, he said only: "I don't know, but the Muslim is the brother of the Muslim."
He appealed to Pakistan's government and humanitarian agencies to find his brother's body and bring it back to Libya "so we may bury him here as a martyr."
(Reporting by Hadeel Al-Shalchi; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Michael Roddy)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.