Feedback
News

Six Potential al Qaeda Leaders Eliminated Since Bin Laden Raid

Since Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. Navy SEAL raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 1, 2011, six potential candidates to lead al Qaeda have been killed in U.S. drone strikes, according an NBC News analysis.

The SEALS grabbed a treasure trove of materials that night -- five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 storage devices that held between 10,000 and 15,000 documents and between 15,000 to 25,000 videos, including a large number of duplicate files.

Related: Embattled Al Qaeda Hunts for a New Bin Laden

Most of the data was worthless, but a lot of it helped the U.S. identify, characterize and track potential successors to bin Laden, three of whom were killed in the five months after the raid. The fourth -- Abu Yahya al-Libi -- took more than a year to find and kill, but he, say U.S. officials, was the real prize.

Here are thumbnail sketches of those killed:

Image: Deceased al Qaeda members
Left to right, top row: Ilyas Kashmiri, Anwar al-Awlaki, Saaed al-Sherhri. Bottom row: Abu Yahya al-Libi, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, Abu Zaid al Kuwaiti. Saaed Khan / NBC News sources and wire services
Drone strikes by US forces see sharp increase 9:48

Follow NBC News Investigations on Twitter and Facebook