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Al-Qaida leader said killed in drone attack surfaces in new video

Flashpoint Global Partners

Abu Yahya al-Libi, in a video published Tuesday by al-Qaida's propaganda wing.

Senior al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-Libi, who was reportedly killed in a U.S. drone strike last week in Pakistan, appeared in a video published Tuesday by the terrorist group’s propaganda wing. 

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NBC News terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann, whose company Flashpoint Global Partners spotted the video titled  "The Tragedy of Syria: Between the Crimes of the Nusayris and the Scheming of the West," said the video made no reference to the reported drone strike early on June 4, and was very likely recorded prior to the attack.

Though al-Qaida’s As-Sahab propaganda wing and jihadist Web forums hosting the video continue to describe al-Libi with honorific titles suggesting he is  alive, the video itself did not indicate whether he was living or dead.

According to a Reuters translation of the video, al-Libi called on Islamist fighters outside Syria to join rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad.

"We call on our brothers in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey to go to help their brothers,'' he said. "If your revolution was to be peaceful, God would have chosen it that way, but now the illusion of peaceful means after these great sacrifices ... would show weakness."

White House spokesman Jay Carney said a week ago that al-Libi had been killed in North Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s northwest tribal area, but did not confirm that he died in a U.S. drone attack – a sensitive matter with Pakistani officials. 

 “I can’t get into details about how his death was brought about, but I can tell you that he served as al-Qaida’s general manger, responsible for overseeing the group’s day-to-day operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan and he managed the outreach to al-Qaida’s regional affiliates,” Carney said.

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 Previously, Pakistani security sources said al-Libi had died in  a pre-dawn attack on June 4, the last in a series of three U.S. drone attacks over the weekend. 

If al-Libi’s death is confirmed, he would be the fifth senior al-Qaida leader killed since U.S. Navy SEALs killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on May1, 2011, in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Reuters contributed to this report.