Yemen-based leader killed in drone strike, says Al Qaeda

Yemen-based leader killed in drone strike, says Al Qaeda

Ibrahim Al Rubaish was killed with several other militants in a “raid” on Monday, the statement said.



By (AFP)

Published: Tue 14 Apr 2015, 10:52 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:53 PM

(YouTube screengrab)

The 'ideological' leader of Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was killed in a drone strike this week, allegedly by the United States, AQAP said in a statement published Tuesday.

Ibrahim Al Rubaish was killed with several other militants in a “raid” on Monday, the statement said.

The statement published online was apparently referring to a drone attack that killed six suspected terrorists in their vehicle in Hadramawt province in southeast Yemen.

The United States, whose intelligence agencies consider AQAP to be the most dangerous branch of the militant network, is the only country that operates drones over Yemen.

Rubaish fought in Afghanistan and was held in the US military prison of Guantanamo for “a few years” before he joined AQAP following his release, the statement said.

AQAP was formed in 2009 after a merger between militants in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda militants have exploited the breakdown of security as a Saudi-led coalition last month launched an air campaign against rebels amid fierce fighting between rival Yemen forces.

Among its gains, AQAP has seized Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province.

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged last week that Al Qaeda was making gains and that the fighting in Yemen was complicating counter-terrorism efforts, but vowed that they would continue.

In an audio message in January, Rubaish urged attacks on the West, singling out France.

AQAP has a track record of launching attacks far from its base in Yemen, including an attempt to blow up an American airliner over Michigan on Christmas Day in 2009. 


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