Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Sep 10, 2012 - 8:05:07 PM
Deputy leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Saeed Ali al-Shihri was killed along with six other al-Qaeda insurgents in Hadramout valley on Monday, said the website of the ministry of defense 26sep.net.
Yemen military forces announced killing Saeed al-Shihri in Hadramout on Monday.
The website quoted a high profile military officer as saying that the Yemeni military forces have killed Saeed al-Shihri and six al-Qaeda suspects in an identical military operation launched by the Yemeni military forces targeting a house in al-Ain district in Hadramout valley where al-Shihri and other militants were living on Monday.
The military source said that the killing of al-Shihri was a painful strike for the remains of al-Qaeda militants that fled from Abyan province due to the massive offensive launched by the Yemeni forces last June that resulted in expelling al-Qaeda fighters from Zinjubar, Jaa’r and other towns of Abyan province.
The Yemeni military took credit for the Sept. 2 airstrike in Hadramout that targeted a vehicle and is reported to have killed six AQAP fighters. However, the strike was carried out by the US's fleet of unmanned Predators and Reapers based in the area, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal. US drones have zeroed in on Hadramout province over the past month. Of the seven recorded strikes since the beginning of August, five have taken place in the eastern province.
US officials have not commented on reports of al Shihri's death. AQAP has not released a martyrdom statement announcing his death. In the past, AQAP has announced the deaths of senior leaders quickly.
Al Shihri has been reported killed several times in the past. Most recently, In February 2011, he was rumored to have been killed while working with explosives. Al Shihri was also said to have been killed in a US cruise missile attack in December 2009. And in January 2010, Yemeni officials claimed that al Shihri was captured.
Said al-Shahri was the second man of AQAP after the leader of AQAP Nasser al-Wahaishi.
Al-Shahri is a Saudi national that was extradited by the US authorities to the Saudi authorities from Guantanamo prison in 2007. He was released by the Saudi authorities after he took part in the Saudi rehabilitation program. However few months after he was released al-Shahri lead the Saudi branch of al-Qaeda and decided to merge with the Yemeni branch to form AQAP.
In November 2007, Shihri was released from Guantanamo and placed into Saudi custody, where he then entered a government-run rehabilitation program for former jihadists. Less than a year later, Shihri played a direct role in al Qaeda's attack on the American embassy in Sana'a, Yemen's capital, in September 2008. That attack killed 10 civilians, along with six terrorists.
In February 2009, when Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda in Yemen merged to form Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Shihri was named as deputy to AQAP emir Nasir al Wuhayshi.
Al-Shahri was accused of being behind a number of terrorist operation in Yemen, among them was the terrorist attack that targeted the US Embassy in Sana’a.
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