The Pentagon is assessing the results of an air strike that occurred this weekend against a terrorist target in the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya. Meanwhile, Libyan officials stated that veteran Al Qaeda kingpin Mokhtar Belmokhta, who orchestrated the deadly 2013 attack on a massive oil complex in Algeria, was indeed killed in the air strike, along with “a number” of other Libyan terrorists.
The one eyed star of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has been a hard target to say the least. Multiple reports have surfacing of him being killed over the last half decade, often times during fighting in Mali. None have proven to be accurate.
His uncanny ability to survive over a terror career spanning more than three decades is said to be due to his ability to melt into the local populace, taking wives throughout the region. He is considered to be one of the most hardened and experienced terrorists in the world, as he learned to fight with the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation of the 1980s.
Known as a highly charismatic leader with a strong and dedicated following, Belmokhta is also an entrepreneur of sorts, running a massive cigarette smuggling ring to fund his terrorist acts. This has garnered him the nickname “The Marlboro Man” among international counter-terror and intelligence units.
Foxtrot Alpha reported two weeks ago that USAF F-15Es have been flying shadowy extremely long-range sorties over the Northern Africa recently, presumably hunting for someone. A target like Belmokhta, who has blood from many countries on his hands including the U.S., would have been a high value target worth such a complex undertaking. The New York Times has confirmed that F-15Es were the aircraft involved in this high-priority air strike and that multiple bombs were dropped on the target area.