Al-Qaida leader in Yemen dead
SANAA, Yemen — The Yemeni government reported the death on Thursday of a top leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, who died of wounds suffered in a November “counterterrorism operation” in the northern province of Saada.
Deputy Emir Saeed al-Shihri was the highest-ranking Saudi member of the group. Al-Qaida-linked terrorists buried him in an undisclosed location, the government said.
“His death, if true, would not destroy the capabilities of the organization, but it would be the biggest blow to AQAP in more than three years of U.S. bombing raids,” said Gregory Johnsen, the author of “The Last Refuge,” a recent book on Yemen and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
According to U.S. government documents, after traveling to Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 and training with terrorists in a camp north of Kabul, al-Shihri was captured in December 2001 while attempting to cross the border into Pakistan. He was transferred eventually to the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and imprisoned for six years.
He then was transferred to the custody of his home country, which placed him in a “jihadi rehabilitation program.” After his release in 2008, al-Shihri traveled south to Yemen to rejoin the fight.
Months after being declared rehabilitated, al-Shihri resurfaced in a video with Nasir al-Wuhayshi, a fellow Afghanistan veteran who heads al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Al-Shihri is thought to have supervised the group's Saudi operatives in addition to playing a key role in operations in Yemen and abroad. He allegedly took part in planning a 2009 assassination attempt on Saudi Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, a 2008 bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa and, according to the Yemeni government, oversaw the group's military operations.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. allies in Syria struck by Russians
- Mexico’s army chief denies troops involved in massacre
- Eastern European gangs smuggle nuclear materials, seek terrorist clients
- Abbas appeals for end to chaos with Israel
- Criminal investigation at United Nations snares one of its former presidents
- EU offers to ease Turkey’s refugee burden
- Canadian, Japanese physicists win Nobel for neutrino work
- 9 die after international charity’s Afghanistan clinic bombed
- Syria’s Assad praises Russian airstrikes
- 3 share Nobel medicine prize for new tools to kill parasites
- North Korea frees NYU student