US Air Force MQ-1 Predator Drone (illustration)
US Air Force MQ-1 Predator Drone (illustration) Reuters

A top Saudi terrorist in the leadership of Al-Qaeda in Yemen was killed in a US airstrike on Tuesday, according to a statement by the group online cited by Reuters.

The terrorist was named as Ibrahim al-Rubaish, a leader of Yemen's Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

It is appraised that the strike is significant, because it indicates the US is continuing its drone strikes in Yemen despite having evacuated military advisers from the country as the Iran-backed Houthis continue their conquest of the country.

The administration of US President Barack Obama offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of al-Rubaish starting last October.

Previously Al-Rubaish had been captured by US troops in 2001 and detained in Guantanamo Bay, until being released in 2006 with 16 other terrorists to a Saudi rehabilitation program.

Less than two years later, he abandoned his wife and three children and rejoined Al-Qaeda in Yemen.

He was identified by the Jamestown Foundation terror-tracking think tank back in 2009 as AQAP's mufti, namely its chief religious authority, according to the Daily Mail. Al-Rubaish has a college degree in Islamic Sharia law.

Back in 2013, al-Rubaish delivered a statement saying "it is my duty to spur the Muslims to kill the Americans, to get them out of the Muslims' land," according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The US State Department last December said in a statement that al-Rubaish "serves as a senior adviser for AQAP operational planning and is involved in the planning of attacks."