Arabian al-Qaeda's number two confirmed dead

Wednesday 17 July 2013 07.59
Said al-Shehri was killed in a US-led drone strike in Yemen
Said al-Shehri was killed in a US-led drone strike in Yemen

A Saudi who was freed by US authorities from detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, only to become second-in-command of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been confirmed dead.

Said al-Shehri was described by US officials as one of the most important al Qaeda-linked militants to be released from the Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba, where he was taken in January 2002 after Pakistan handed him to US authorities.

He went on to become AQAP's second-in-command.

In January, Yemeni authorities said he had died after suffering from injuries in an operation by Yemeni security forces on 28 November, 2012, in the northern province of Saada.

Senior AQAP official Ibrahim al Rubaish in a video statement posted online he had been killed in a drone attack, but did not say when, according to SITE, a US based monitoring website.

"I present my condolences to all the Mujahideen on the martyrdom of Said al-Shehri who was killed in a US drone attack," said Rubaish.

AQAP, which has planned attacks on international targets including airliners, has been described by Washington, as perhaps al-Qaeda's most dangerous and innovative affiliate.