Yemen: Top al Qaeda Deputy Killed In Airstrike - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Yemen: Top al Qaeda Deputy Killed In Airstrike

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A screen shot from video posted on the Internet on October 6, 2010 shows Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's branch assistant commander Saeed al-Shihri. (CBS News) A screen shot from video posted on the Internet on October 6, 2010 shows Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's branch assistant commander Saeed al-Shihri. (CBS News)

SANAA, Yemen (CBS/AP) - Yemeni officials said an airstrike has killed al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader in Yemen, along with five others traveling with him in a car.

The Defense Ministry officials said Monday's attack killed the deputy, Saudi national Saeed al-Shihri, as he left a house in the southern Hadramawt province.

They said 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 Qaeda members in Yemen.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is seen as the world's most active branch of the terror group, planning and carrying out attacks against targets in and outside of U.S. territory.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

According to CBS News senior correspondent John Miller, al-Shihri represents the Saudi wing of AQAP. The Saudis are very influential in the group since most of them shared a personal relationship with Osama bin Laden.

The "MVP" of the Saudi team, Miller said, is still Ibrahim al-Asiri, AQAP's master bomb designer behind the failed underwear bombing on Christmas Day 2009 and the 2010 plot to conceal bombs in printers aboard flights.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press/CBS News Interactive. All Rights Reserved.)

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