When the government announced that Abu Faraj al-Libbi had been captured, they claimed he was the number three ranking member of al-qaeda. I was shocked to hear it, because I track news related to 9/11 quite closely, and I had never encountered his name before. I also had to laugh at the announcement of yet another ‘number three’.

Hit the First Draft link for sources:

Just how many “al Qaeda Number Threes” are there, including the Jackoesque Abu Faraj al-Libbi, whose capture in Pakistan was revealed yesterday?


Here’s one…

Al-Qaeda’s third-ranked leader and alleged mastermind of this month’s bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been seized in Iran, according to senior intelligence sources.

The United States has identified Saif al-Adel as the most senior al-Qaeda member linked to the attacks that killed 34 people, including one Australian.

And another…

US government officials have told the Wall Street Journal that the third-ranking leader of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, personally murdered its reporter Daniel Pearl in February 2002. The paper said on 21 October that new secret information showed that Mohammed, the supposed mastermind of the 11 September attacks captured in Pakistan in March this year, had slit Pearl’s throat with a knife.

Maybe another here…

First to be arrested on Monday morning will be Sheikh Mohammed Sheikh — Bin Laden’s number six and a suspected mastermind of the terrorist group’s terror operations.

And the next day, just after lunch, Bin Laden’s number three — Mohammed Sheikh Mohammed — will be caught attempting to install plutonium freshly bought from Baghdad into a bomb in a suitcase with a flight label to London around the handle. He is a known mastermind and he doesn’t mind who knows it.

Perhaps a fifth three?

During a series of visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan, [Iyman] Faris was introduced to bin Laden and at least one senior operational leader, who gave Faris his orders for when he returned to the United States.

The operational leader, identified in court documents as “C-2” and said to be bin Laden’s “number three man,” told Faris in 2002 al Qaeda was again planning simultaneous attacks on New York and Washington.
First Draft

To this list I’d like to add Mohammed Atef, who was announced as bin-Laden’s ‘number three’ when he was killed during the Afghan War.

I suppose the CIA will explain that everytime they capture or kill a ‘number three’ a new ‘number three’ is created. They know who the new ‘number three’ is by calling UBL on his satellite phone and asking him who has been promoted. Or maybe they just guess. Or maybe they are totally full of shit. In any case, this al-Libbi catfish is accused of being behind the assassination attempts on Musharraf (better known as ‘The General’). And it is not too surprising that the Pakistanis are torturing the living bejeesus out of him.

Now, please read the following excerpt from the notoriously unreliable UK Telegraph very carefully. Keep in mind that the UK Telegraph is a conduit for some the most blatant disinformation in the propaganda war on terror. You tell me which intelligence agency is providing this info to the Telegraph, and whether they are doing the interrogating, sitting in the room while al-Libbi is tortured, or just watching through one-way glass:

Intelligence officials who have been questioning Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the senior al-Qa’eda suspect arrested last week, have cast doubt over claims by the Pakistani prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, that the interrogation is “proceeding well”.

The officials say that al-Libbi, who is believed to be al-Qaeda’s number three, has defied efforts to make him reveal valuable intelligence about its senior hierarchy, despite coming under “physical pressure” to do so…

…One senior intelligence official told The Telegraph: “So far he has not told us anything solid that could lead to the high-value targets. It is too early to judge whether he is a hard nut to crack, or simply that he doesn’t know more than he has told us.”

Al-Libbi had been beaten and injected with the so-called “truth drug”, sodium pentothal, said the official. “They have tried all possible methods, from the ‘third degree’ to injecting him with a truth serum but it is hard to break him,” he said.

In time, the officials hope that al-Libbi, 28, will tell them about forthcoming attacks, al-Qaeda’s funding and its sophisticated coded communications network.

Mr Aziz said yesterday: “Certainly al-Libbi is a senior member of al-Qaeda, and we were on the look-out for him for a while.”
UK Telegraph

Pakistan is apparently going to keep this man in their custody because we like our torture done in other countries beside our own. But it appears no one wants to admit this, except whomever is leaking to the Telegraph:

Pakistan has ruled out his immediate extradition to the United States, and denies that American agents are present at his questioning.

A government minister, however, told The Telegraph last night that British intelligence officials may be allowed to join the interrogation.

“This would be done once we exhaust him completely and are satisfied that he is not preparing to commit a terror act in our country,” the minister said.

That’s remarkable, isn’t it? The use of ‘we’, I mean. ‘We’ will get to talk to him after ‘we’ are done exhausting him. Not a lot of distinction between the Pakistani brutalizers and the British ones, is there?

Here’s another tip. When we catch bad guys we don’t announce it right away. This is true for Saddam and it’s true for al-Libbi. First we tortured him REALLY badly for five or six days. Then we announced his capture and resumed torturing him. Then we told the world that we were torturing him because we think it makes us look tough.

Linda Vester: And you are also tracking the arrest of the number three guy in al qaeda, Abu Faraj al-Libbi. It’s known that he in particular, at least to some degree, considering or plotting attacks on the United

Steve Emerson: Well, he moved up in the ranks because most of the people in front of him, perhaps up to 10 of them, were sort of taken out of circulation. So whether by design or whether he volunteered, he became number three. What is interesting, Linda, he was picked up probably five or six days ago, maybe as much as a week ago, and so there’s definite proof that the Pakistani authorities have been interrogating him without releasing it so that the bad guys including Ayman al-Zawahiri or bin Laden were unaware that he was taken out and interrogated, so they could follow up on leads before they went cold.
Dayside w/ Linda Vester. May 5, 2005 1 pm

Folks, we torture people. Let’s just get it out in the open and admit it. We are a criminal nation that has become so unmoored from any semblance of decency that we actually promote the fact that we torture people. And then we deny it just to insult everyone’s intelligence and make them confused.

Al-Libbi may be a bad person who wanted to kill innocent people as well as world leaders. But they have already admitted that torturing him hasn’t worked. Calling him bin-Laden’s ‘number three’ isn’t fooling me, and it shouldn’t fool you. And it doesn’t excuse violating the treaties we are obligated to obey under the Constitution of the United States of America.

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