By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty
It’s been almost three weeks since anti-Gadhafi forces captured Tripoli - but don’t tell that to the young people hanging out of car windows, clutching the black, red and green Libyan rebel flag, honking horns, chanting, laughing and singing in a stream of slow-moving traffic clogging the Corniche, the road that winds along the waterfront in the Libyan capital.
It’s almost midnight and red tracer bullets streak into the sky illuminated by a full moon. Young men with black, red and green headbands fire Kalashnikovs into the air. Down the esplanade, anti-aircraft guns let loose. The cacophony is deafening.
Stray bullets have killed some residents of the capital. In the hotel that houses most of the foreign media, the Radisson, a shell dropping from the sky injured a local journalist. But the celebrating doesn’t stop.
[Update September 30, 2011] With the reports of the death of American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, take a look back at some of the dead, captured and remaining most wanted terrorists from the last 10 years.
[Original post] Ten years after the devastating attacks on America, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently said the U.S is "within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda." His comments came following the successful joint U.S. intelligence and military operation in May that led to the death of number one terrorist Osama Bin Laden, and the intensified effort over the past several years to wipe out senior al Qaeda operatives through drone missile strikes. "I do believe that if we continue this effort that we can really cripple al-Qaeda as a threat to this country," maintained Panetta.
Although there have been some impressive gains in wiping out the terrorist leadership through both capture and killing, there are still a significant number of names on the most wanted list.
CNN spoke with a number of intelligence agencies to come up with a list of the dirty dozens: the 12 most significant terrorists who are now dead, have been captured and those who are still being hunted. The lists are obviously subjective–there are many more candidates–but these are some of the top combatants in the war on terror.