AQAP – Top al-Qaeda militant in Yemen dead in U.S. drone strike

February 5, 2015 3:52 pm
Al-Qaeda said Thursday that one of its top militants, Harith al-Nadhari
who threatened more attacks on France after the Charlie Hebdo killings,
died in a U.S. strike in .

Nadhari and three other
militants were killed in a January 31 “crusader American drone strike
against their car” in Shabwa province of southern Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula said on Twitter.

AQAP named the three others as Said Bafaraj, Abdelsamie al-Haddaa and Azzam al-Hadrami.

Tribal sources had said four suspected militants were left charred in their car in a drone strike that day in Shabwa.

Nadhari had threatened France with further attacks like those in Paris
on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket that killed
17 people between Jan. 7 and 9.

“It is better for you to stop
your aggression against the Muslims, so perhaps you will live safely. If
you refuse but to wage war, then wait for the glad tiding,” Nadhari was
quoted saying in a January 10 video after the attacks in France.

Another of the group’s ideologues, Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, claimed the
attack on Charlie Hebdo on behalf of AQAP four days later.

One of AQAP’s top militants Harith al-Nadhari died in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. (File photo: Reuters)

Despite a political crisis in Yemen, U.S. President Barack Obama on
January 25 vowed no let-up in Washington’s campaign against jihadists in
Yemen.

He ruled out a U.S. troop deployment in Yemen but said Washington would continue “to go after high value targets inside Yemen”.

At least 11 Al-Qaeda suspected militants have been killed in three
drone strikes in central and southern Yemen since Obama’s statement.

Western governments say it remains unclear if AQAP directly
orchestrated the Charlie Hebdo attack, although they do believe one or
both of the attackers, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, spent time with
jihadists in Yemen.

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

According to the New America Foundation, the has carried
out more than 110 strikes on targets in Yemen since 2009, mostly using
drones.

In September 2011, a drone strike killed US-Yemeni
cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, the AQAP leader accused of instigating a string
of attacks against the United States.

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