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Bin Laden’s key deputy seen as very hard to replace for al Qaeda

(CNN) — The death of al Qaeda’s No. 2, Atiyah Abdul Rahman in Pakistan, is a hammer blow to the terrorist organization. According to a U.S. official, Abdul Rahman, a 43-year-old veteran Libyan operative, rose to the number two spot after the death of Osama bin Laden in May, which saw the Egyptian Ayman al Zawahiri take over the leadership of the terrorist group. In that capacity Rahman ran daily operations for the group, according to the official. “There’s no question this is a major blow to al Qaeda. Atiyah was at the top of al Qaeda’s trusted core,” the official said. Intelligence garnered from bin Laden’s compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, showed that Rahman had emerged as bin Laden’s key…