A day before the 7th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, two Al-Qaeda leaders have been killed.
Pakistani intelligence sources say a U.S. missile strike in their country killed at least four terrorists, including two top Al-Qaeda officials. The two were said to be responsible for Al-Qaeda's anti-U.S. terror activities in northwest Pakistan. One of the dead terrorists, Abu Haris, oversaw the Al-Qaeda efforts in the tribal areas, Associated Press reported, while the second, known as Abu Hamza, led activities in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan's largest city.
The missile strike was launched on Monday, one of several U.S. attacks in recent days in the area.
Al-Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden, is believed to be directly responsible for the massive terror attacks launched on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, in which close to 3,000 people were killed. Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, causing them to collapse on those still inside, and another plane smashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing an additional 125. A fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania before it could reach its apparent target, the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The attacks are believed to have spurred the United States and Western countries to launch their "war on terror," particularly against Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.
Israel ordered the evacuation of all its diplomatic missions throughout the world after the attacks, and the IDF Home Front Command declared an emergency alert. Arabs in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas reacted with joy to the news of the attacks, rejoicing and distributing candies to children in the streets in several locations.
Al-Qaeda is founded on the beliefs that Islam must rule the world, non-Muslim influences must be eradicated, Jews and/or a Christian-Jewish alliance seek to destroy Islam, and that the killing of civilians is justified or even mandated to achieve their purposes.