Senior AQAP Commander Killed In U.S. Drone Strike
A senior commander of the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) who claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris earlier this year was killed in a U.S. drone strike.
Nasr Ali al-Ansi’s death was announced by AQAP operative Khaled Batarfi in an online video statement. Al-Ansi was killed with several others in an airstrike on April 21.
It was not revealed where in Yemen al-Ansi was killed.
The senior commander became infamously known after he made a statement claiming responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris. He said that AQAP was behind the attack.
On January 7, 12 people including cartoonists and editors were fatally shot by gunmen after the magazine published depictions of the Prophet Mohammad. Al-Ansi had said that AQAP was seeking revenge.
In a statement, he also blamed France and United States.
An 11-minute video posted on the group’s Twitter account showed al-Ansi issuing a threat that there will be more “tragedies and terror.”
He said AQAP “chose the target, laid out the plan and financed the operation.”
He added that the attack was arranged by Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical Yemeni-American cleric.
Al-Awlaki died in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen on September 2011.
Al-Ansi reached out to all jihadists to wage a war in their home countries.
“If he is capable to wage individual jihad in the Western countries that fight Islam — such as America, Britain, France, Canada and others of the countries that represent the head of disbelief in waging war against Islam … if he is capable of that, then that is better and more harmful,” said al-Ansi, according to CNN.
He further said, “But if that is impossible, and he is able to serve his brothers on the front lines, then let him immigrate, for it is better.”
When asked why the attacks have lessened in the US, he said, “By the grace of Allah the great (and) the almighty, we have made efforts in external work, and the enemy knows the danger of that. We are preparing and lurking for the enemies of Allah. We incite the believers to do that.”
Less than a month ago, top AQAP commander Ibrahim al-Rubaish was killed in a drone strike, according to CBS News. Al-Rubaish had a $5 million bounty on his head.
In 2009, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama said that al-Rubaish was among the “Who’s Who of al Qaeda terrorists on the Arabian peninsula … who have either graduated or escaped from the program en route to terrorist acts.”
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