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Al-Qaida Confirms US Drone Killed Yemen Branch Deputy

Al-Qaida's Yemen branch has confirmed that its second-in-command has been killed by a U.S. drone strike.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula posted a video message Wednesday announcing the death of Said al-Shihri, but did not say when the alleged air strike took place.

The Yemeni government had previously announced al-Shihri's death several times, including twice in the past year.

The Saudi national spent five years at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before being released in 2007. He returned to Saudi Arabia where he went through a rehabilitation program for militants, but later surfaced with al-Qaida in Yemen.



A classified Pentagon report made public by WikiLeaks in 2011 identified al-Shihri as a former officer in Saudi Arabia's internal security force who later joined al-Qaida to help route Saudi militants through Iran for combat in Afghanistan.

The United States considers al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to be one of the world's most dangerous terrorist groups, and has repeatedly used drones to target its militants in recent years.

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