Last updated: 14 September, 2013

Al-Qaeda confirms drone death of Yemen leader

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in an Internet posting has confirmed the death of senior AQAP member Qaeed al-Dhahab in a US drone strike late last month.

The US-based SITE Intelligence Group said AQAP, in a communique issued on jihadi forums on Friday, said Dhahab was killed in the US “war on Islamic sharia” (law).

It was the latest in a string of attacks targeting what Washington considers to be the extremist group’s most dangerous branch.

A tribal source told AFP the August 30 early morning strike on a vehicle in Manasseh village in the southern province of Bayda killed Dhahab and two other men.

Witnesses confirmed the death of Dhahab, an AQAP military chief who had previously fought with the group in Iraq.

The tribal source said he was killed just hours after being married on Thursday.

He was the brother of Tarek al-Dhahab, an AQAP leader who in January 2012 with other militants briefly overran the town of Radah in Bayda province before being killed by Yemeni troops.

Seen as a high-profile AQAP leader, Qaeed al-Dhahab was also the brother-in-law of Yemeni-born American radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, a key AQAP figure who was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.

Yemen is the ancestral home of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.