A senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula commander was killed by a strike from a United States drone, according to a video statement online from a spokesperson at AQAP. It was unclear however when the commander, Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi had been killed.
An official from the U.S. confirmed that the man was dead. However, he did not say if his death had been due to a drone strike.
A senior AQAP commander had been well know for his long statement following the shooting at Charlie Hedbo in France, claiming the attack had been the work of the AQAP.
Twelve people were killed in that attack in January. The attack had been revenge for depictions the magazine carried of Prophet Mohammad, said al-Ansi at the time.
He placed blame not just with Charlie Hedbo, but will the U.S. and France during his long statement. Al-Ansi also urged jihadists to create war at their homes whenever possible instead of traveling abroad.
He said that if capable, to wage individual acts of jihad in Western countries such as the U.S., Britain, Canada, France and others.
Al-Ansi was originally from Yemen and pursued jihad in 1995 in Bosnia. He then returned to Yemen. After he traveled to Kashmir and Afghanistan, where he became friends with Osama bin Laden, he was jailed at one time in Yemen but for only six months. Once he was released, he joined AQAP.
One analyst who specializes in terrorism said that the death of al-Ansi would be a substantial blow to the AQAP.
In addition, to being the spokesman for the group, al-Ansi was one of its best military strategists who had a special status due to his history with bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
He became the second senior leader of the AQAP to be killed of recent.
Last month, the group made the announcement that Ibrahim al-Rubaish was killed in what the group said was a crusader airstrike. He was considered a combat commander and religious scholar.
He was held at one time by the U.S. at its Guantanamo Bay detention facility.