Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula Confirms Spiritual Leader Killed

Apr 14, 2015 at 11:52 AM ET

The spiritual leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Ibrahim al-Arbaysh, has been killed in a strike in Yemen, his group announced online Tuesday.

The group, known as AQAP, has been called one of the most dangerous terrorist networks operating globally, according to U.S. officials, and has claimed responsibilty for the Paris shooting attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters. It has been behind several bomb attacks on civilian targets inside Yemen, and continues to hold foreigners hostage.

AQAP supporters have not specified whether al-Arbaysh was killed in a drone strike or in the Saudi-led air strikes that have pulverised both civilian and military targets in the cities of Sana’a and Aden in recent weeks as part of the worsening battle between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces.

Al-Arbaysh, a Saudi national, was captured by U.S. forces while traveling from Afghanistan to Pakistan in December 2001, following the 9/11 attacks. He was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and was eventually released into Saudi custody in 2006.

Translation: Statement concerning the martyrdom of Sheik Ibrahim al-Arbaysh.