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According to some reports, he was also al Qaeda's third-highest ranking officer. If so, then he is (by my count) the seventh individual identified by U.S. intelligence as al Qaeda's "No. 3" since 2001 who has been killed or captured. Being No. 3 is clearly a dangerous job. For its part, al Qaeda itself has never identified anyone as the third man in its chain of command, and most likely there is more than one individual, at any one time, who reports to Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden directly.