US drones kill at least one, maybe two top Al-Qaeda leaders
The United States killed a top Al-Qaeda leader in a drone strike- but maybe more than just one. The continual attacking of Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership may eventually lead to a boon for ISIS, but a couple of bad dudes took a dirt nap recently, thanks to drone strikes.
Nasir al-Wuhayshi in Yemen was confirmed dead, while the other, Mokhtar Belmokhtar in Libya was not yet confirmed. Libyan officials stated that he had been killed in a drone strike at 2 am on Sunday.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
Wuhayshi was Al-Qaedas’ “global general manager” in Yemen. He was second in command to al-Zawahiri and has been active in the jihadist movement since the 1990s. He is said to have been at Tora Bora when the US attacked the lair of bin-Laden after 9-11.
The AQAP, considered one of the most dangerous of the Al-Qaeda affiliates, has been around since 2009. Wuhayshi’s position is already been filled by Qasim al-Raymi, who helped Wuhayshi found AQAP.
Al-Qaeda is said to have killed two Saudis in revenge for the death of bin-Laden’s associate.
The Long War Journal stated,
In addition to being AQAP’s co-founder and resurrecting the group from earlier defeats, Wuhayshi served as al Qaeda’s global general manager. Declassified documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound reveal that the general manager has responsibilities ranging across al Qaeda’s global network. …The bin Laden files also show that the general manager is assigned deputies. The Long War Journal previously identified another AQAP official, Nasser bin Ali al Ansi, as one of Wuhayshi’s deputy general managers….
Therefore, the drone strikes have eliminated key leaders throughout AQAP’s and al Qaeda’s global hierarchy. However, this hasn’t stopped the group from spreading its insurgency footprint throughout Yemen over the past year.
Al-Qaeda in Libya
Mokhtar Belmokhtar was known as the “one-eyed Algerian.” He founded a group called the “Signed in Blood” fighters- or the al-Mulathamun Batallion. His death has not been confirmed by US officials, but the Libyan government has stated he is dead.
According to CNN,
The Libyan government went further in a statement Sunday, saying that the U.S. airstrike “led to the killing of Moktar Belmokhtar and a group of Libyans who are members of a terrorist organization in Eastern Libya.”
Sadeq Gheryani praises and sends condolences to AlQaeda in Derna over the death of their leader Want more proof? pic.twitter.com/5nKcVr0UZ6
— Bilal بلال (@Bilalhb) June 12, 2015
— Patrick deHahn (@patrickdehahn) June 15, 2015
Al Qaeda kills two Saudis in reprisal for death of leader, say residents http://t.co/29H7g0GEWb
— Lana Violet88 (@LanaViolet88) June 17, 2015