Al Qaeda in Yemen confirms deputy leader killed in US drone strike


A screen shot of a video posted on the Internet on October 6, 2010 shows al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's branch assistant commander Said al-Shihri. Officials in Yemen said on Sept. 10, 2012 that their army had killed Shihri, according to reports.



Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemen-based terrorist group the United States considers one of the world's most dangerous, on Wednesday confirmed that the death of their deputy commander Said al-Shihri, reported Al Jazeera.

Shihri has been rumored dead several times, but this is the first confirmation of it from AQAP, according to France 24

"Sheikh Saeed al-Shihri, aka Abu Sufyan al-Azdi, was killed in a US drone strike," AQAP's leading mullah Ibrahim al-Rubaish reportedly said in a video released on Wednesday.

He did not say when Shihri was killed but suggested it took place while he was on the phone somewhere in Sanaa. "Lax security measures during his telephone contacts has enabled the enemy to kill him," France 24 cited Rubaish as saying. 

The Saudi-born Shihri was turned over to US authorities by Pakistan in 2002 and detained at Guantanamo Bay until his release in 2007, according to Al Jazeera

He was reported killed in January but later resurfaced; a similar episode occured in November. 

The news comes amid debate over the legality of US drone strikes in Yemen and other foreign countries.