Skip to content
Guest Thinkers

AQAP Deputy Commander Dead

Al-Ittihad, a newspaper from the UAE, has a story out today that claims Said Ali al-Shihri was killed when a bomb he was assembling exploded, killing him and wounding five others.


The paper quotes Fahd al-Qusa, a member of AQAP.  The original story is here (Ar.) and News Yemen has a distilled version on its own website (Ar.)

If true, and my sense is that it is, this would be a huge blow to AQAP. Al-Shihri is the highest ranking Saudi in the organization and he has been instrumental in the growth of AQAP over the past two years

According to the story, al-Shihri and several others were building the bomb in the  White Mountain region near Lawdar in northern Abyan, on Wednesday when the bomb went off. 

Al-Shihri, of course, is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, who shot to prominence when he appeared in a video tape announcing the formation of AQAP and his return to al-Qaeda shortly after President Obama pledged to close Guantanamo two days after taking the oath of office. 

This means that both former Guantanamo Bay detainees in that video – al-Shihri and Muhamad al-Awfi – are now out of the organization.

Smarter faster: the Big Think newsletter
Subscribe for counterintuitive, surprising, and impactful stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday

As of yet there has been no official statement from AQAP, confirming or denying this.  And I wouldn’t expect one for a while still.  For me the fact that al-Qusa was willing to go on the record strongly suggests that this is true. 

I’ll post more as information becomes available.


Related

Up Next