Home > AL Qaeda, USA, YEM > YEMEN: Al-Wahishi not dead, says expert

YEMEN: Al-Wahishi not dead, says expert

January 6, 2011

The following article is reprinted with permission from Yemen Times, Sana’a.

Al-Wahishi not dead, says expert
©  Yemen Times
By Ali Saeed
January 6, 2011

Naser Abdulkareem Al-Wahishi, leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is still alive, an expert on Al-Qaeda, Saeed Ubaid, told the Yemen Times.

Media reports claimed yesterday that Al-Wahishi was killed in Pakistan by an American drone at the end of December.

But Ubaid disagreed: “I do not think that Al-Wahishi had gone to Waziristan as the organization in Yemen needs him”.

Al-Wahishi was said to be killed three times; twice by the Yemeni government during operations carried out against Al-Qaeda by Yemen in September 2010 and now, for the third time, by the Pakistani government.

Some media reports this week claimed that Pakistani officials confirmed that Al-Wahishi was killed on December 28 when two American missiles were fired on a militant camp at the Ghulam Khan sub-district of North Waziristan in Pakistan.

Al-Qaeda until now has not recognized the death of its leader and published his article in a recent copy of its magazine, Sada Al-Malahem (Echo of Battles).

“That is an indicator that he is still alive,” said Ubaid.

He explained that Al-Wahishi might have been wounded and that is why his media appearance has decreased recently.

He also said that evidence of Al-Wahishi’s existence was the tape recording published two months ago that he would protect Anwar Al-Awlaki, the U.S. citizen of Yemeni origin who is on the U.S.’s kill or capture list.

“If he was killed, Al-Qaeda would announce that and include him on its martyrs list,” said Ubaid.

He noted that until now those who claimed to have killed Al-Wahishi have not proven any evidence of that.

The expert supported his claim with the fact that Yemen’s security sources in the past announced the killing of some Al-Qaeda leaders but these persons appeared to be alive after these claims were made.

“We cannot trust security sources for killing an Al-Qaeda leader, as Ayd Al-Shabwani was announced to be killed four times by the Yemen’s security sources, Qasim Al-Raimi was announced to be killed twice by the Yemen’s security sources,” he explained.

Al-Wahishi was appointed as a leader of formerly-named Al-Qaeda in Yemen in 2007 after he escaped with 23 Yemeni captives from a security prison in Sana’a in 2006.

When the two Al-Qaeda branches in Yemen and Saudi Arabia merged in January 2009, Al-Wahishi was announced as leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

[Photo:  Al Qaeda magazine via Yemen Times]


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