Update: Two US officials confirm. Update 2: Interior Ministry has no info, may be another disinformation job on the US media.
Original: Interesting. Frequently through the years, at politically sensitive moments like before 9/11 or USS Cole anniversaries, the Yemeni government announces a major CT coup that turns out later to be false. So time will tell on this one. Its the
fourth fifth time that the Yemeni DOD has announced Saed al Shihri was killed. The fourth time al Shihri was reported killed was Feb 2011, at the outset of the rev against the Saleh regime. It could be true though. There’s somewhat better odds since its a US drone strike, but then again the US is far from infallible as the recent airstrike on a minibus of civilians demonstrates. The minibus was following the targeted vehicle in al Baydah.
From the 26 Sept: Saeed al-Shihri, who was the Saudi national and the second in command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed on Tuesday in a qualitative operation carried out by the security forces in Wadi Hadramout, a senior official told 26 September Net. The official said that six al-Qaeda leaders accompanying him were also killed.
AP: SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni officials say an airstrike has killed al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader in Yemen along with five others traveling with him in one car.
The Defense Ministry officials say Monday’s attack killed the deputy, Saudi national Saeed al-Shihri, as he left a house in the southern Hadramawt province.
They say the missile was believed to have been fired by a U.S. operated drone. The U.S. doesn’t usually comment on such attacks but has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.
Related: Yemeni President Hadi says the government officials help al Qaeda. Good, its true and has been true for more than a decade:
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s president says some tribal chiefs and government officials are helping al-Qaida fighters hide after the military defeated the militants in the country’s south.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi says “there are tribal chiefs and senior officials who are covering-up for al-Qaida figures” in Abyan and Shabwa provinces and “impeding security measures to arrest them.”
Hadi spoke to lawmakers and senior officials Sunday night. He did not name any suspects.
Related: Ansar al Sharia update from the Yemen Times:
ABYAN — The People’s Committees and security apparatuses in Abyan governorate are continuing operations to track Ansar Al-Sharia (AAS) affiliates in Abyan to terminate violence and install security.
Ali Abdu, spokesman for the People’s Committees, said on Saturday, the group, backed by security forces, held a large campaign to pursue AAS militants—who are affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula—in Shoqra and the controlled Al-Kalasi Mountain. Moreover, They patrolled Moneeb Valley and sent the militants out.
He said the People’s Committees killed one militant and arrested three others. Meanwhile, a fighter of the People’s Committees was injured.
Abdu said AAS militants fled after the clashes, and the People’s Committees took control of two cars and several military vehicles.
Abdu said the situation is stable in other districts. The People’s Committees are establishing committees in each district to pursue militants and to prevent them from re-taking control.
Jamal Al-Aqel, Abyan’s governor, said security forces arrested 28 militants Saturday, including AAS leaders.
He said several AAS affiliates hiding in rural areas are currently being tracked.
On the humanitarian side, technical teams continue working to remove landmines from Abyan.
Al-Aqel said teams have removed 12,500 landmines, bombs and explosive devices the militants laid in Zinjibar and Jaar.
Abdulhakeem Al-Wadher, vice of the operations’ director in Abyan, said most of Zinjibar and Al-Kawd have been cleared of landmines, and they are safe to live in.
The problem now is providing basic services for residents. Residents are complaining about a lack of water and electricity.
Jamal Hussein, a media activist in the governorate, said telectricity services reached some parts of Zinjibar while the other cities such as Al-Kawd and Jaar remain in mass darkness.
“Residents are still complaining about the lack of water, health services and medicine to treat the residents in the governorate,” he said.