Yemen: Al Qaeda Deputy Killed in Drone Strike

Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula confirms the death of ex-Gitmo inmate, Said al-Shihri

Ari Soffer ,

drone (illustrative)
drone (illustrative)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has suffered a significant blow after sources close to its leadership confirmed the death of Said al-Shihri in a drone strike.

The Yemen-based branch of Al Qaeda is widely considered the most dangerous and deadliest wing of the group.

A spokesman for AQAP did not confirm where or when he was killed, according to Al Jazeera.

In a video message, Ibrahim al Rubaish, announced:

"I present my condolences to all the Mujahideen on the martyrdom of Said al-Shihri who was killed in a US drone attack,"

Shihri, a Saudi Arabian national, had been falsely reported killed on more than one other occasion, most recently last January when Yemeni authorities claimed he had succumbed to wounds sustained in a battle with security forces.

He was freed by the US from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, after a 5-year incarceration, following his apprehension by Pakistani authorities.

The Obama administration has used unmanned drones in the past to strike at the heart of Al Qaeda's leadership in Yemen and elsewhere.