CROSSHAIRS

Top al Qaeda Leader Killed

An unnamed top al Qaeda leader was killed Thursday in northwest Pakistan by a Predator drone attack, according to U.S. officials. If confirmed, the killing would be the first of a high-ranking al Qaeda figure by the U.S. since Abu Laith al Libi was killed by a drone in January 2008. The dead leader is not Osama bin Laden, say officials, who credit the killing to recently intensified operations against al Qaeda leaders. Pakistan denied the report, which claims that at least four were killed and four injured in the Ladha area of South Waziristan. The CIA’s drone program, which targets al Qaeda operatives in rural Pakistan with unmanned planes, has been controversial in both the U.S. and Pakistan.