Al Qaeda leaders killed in Yemen air strike

May 7th, 2012 - 9:42 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Sana’a, May 7 (IANS) Two wanted terrorists of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have been killed in a US air strike in a mountainous region in Yemen, a media report said.

Fahd al-Quso al-Awlaki and his nephew Fahed al-Akdam were killed Sunday in the air strike in southeastern Shabwa province, Xinhua reported.

Al-Quso was jailed in Yemen in 2002 for his involvement in attacking US Navy destroyer USS Cole in the country’s Aden port, in which 17 American sailors were killed.

“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula confirms the killing of its leader Sheikh Fahd al-Quso al-Awlaki in a US air strike on Sunday afternoon in Rafd area in Shabwa,” the terror outfit said in a statement obtained by Xinhua.

A Yemeni security official in Ataq, capital of Shabwa, said the air strike targeted the terrorists’ vehicle.

Abdul-Elah Haidar Shaiee, a Yemeni journalist in jail for links to the AQAP, said that al-Quso had said in an interview that he was assigned by slain Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden to attack the USS Cole.

Al-Quso admitted that he collected information and prepared explosives for a suicide boat that hit the US warship, he said.

Yemeni authorities released al-Quso from prison in 2007, and after two years, he was added to the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists.

In 2010, the US State Department labelled al-Quso as a specially designated global terrorist. He was also added to the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee’s Consolidated List of Individuals associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

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