I was way skeptical of Leon Panetta's swaggerific boast of al-Qaida's near defeat. But Atiyah Abd al-Rahman just got got. A/K/A Shaikh Atiyallah, Atiyah was operational leader, ideologue and all-around underboss. Despite some hasty tweeting, it's not clear yet how Atiyah was killed, though the AP -- which I believe broke the story -- suggested that it was by a drone strike in North Waziristan on August 22.
Hang 'em high. If I was Zawahri, I'd be pretty nervous. Especially because now I probably have to promote Adam Gadahn. al-Q is down to the scrubs, the flunkies and the nerdstroms.
UPDATE UPDATE: Mark Mazzetti reports it was a drone whut done it.