SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Al-Qaida’s No. 2 in Yemen died of wounds sustained in a U.S. drone attack last year in southern Yemen, the country’s official news agency and a security official said Thursday.
Saeed al-Shihri, a Saudi national who fought in Afghanistan and spent six years in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, was wounded in a missile attack in the southern city of Saada on Oct. 28, according to SABA news agency.
The agency said that he had fallen into a coma since then. It was not clear when he actually died.
A security official said that the missile had been fired by a U.S. -operated, unmanned drone aircraft. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Yemen had previously announced al-Shihri’s death in a Sept. 10 drone attack in the province of Hadramawt. A subsequent DNA test however proved that the body recovered was not that of al-Shihri.
On Oct. 22, al-Shihri denied his own death in audio message posted on Jihadi websites.
Also known by the nom de guerre Abu Sufyan al-Azdi, he denounced at the time the Yemeni government for spreading the “rumor about my death … as though the killing of the mujahideen (holy warriors) by America is a victory to Islam and Muslims.”
Al-Shihri went through Saudi Arabia’s famous “rehabilitation” institutes after he returned to his home country, but then he fled to Yemen and became deputy to Nasser al-Wahishi, the leader of an al-Qaida group.
Al-Shihri’s death is considered a major blow to al-Qaida’s Yemen branch, known as al-Qaida in The Arabian Peninsula. Washington considers it the most dangerous of the group’s offshoots.
Al-Qaida in Yemen has been linked to several attempted attacks on U.S. targets, including the foiled Christmas Day 2009 bombing of an airliner over Detroit and explosives-laden parcels intercepted aboard cargo flights last year.
In 2011, a high-profile U.S. drone strike killed U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who had been linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests, including the attempt to down a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009 and the plot to bomb cargo planes in 2010.
Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, has fallen into lawlessness during a yearlong uprising starting in 2011, when millions of Yemenis took to the streets demanding the ouster of their longtime authoritarian ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Al-Qaida militants exploited the unrest and took control of large swaths of land in the south until last spring, when the military, backed by the U.S., managed to drive hundreds of militants out of major cities and towns.
Since then, the group has carried out deadly attacks targeting mostly security and military officials, including suicide bombings that targeted military and security compounds.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
24 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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5. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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6. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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7. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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8. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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9. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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10. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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11. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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12. Moms got my back
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13. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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14. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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15. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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16. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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17. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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18. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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19. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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20. Goodnight - here's a song
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21. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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22. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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23. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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24. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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