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Homeland Security

Senior Al-Qaeda Commander Killed in Yemen

RIA Novosti

04:59 11/09/2012

MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - The second in command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been killed by government troops in Yemen, SABA news agency reported citing military officials.

Saudi national Saeed Ali al-Shihri was killed along with six other militants in a special operation in Hadramout province on Monday, the officials said without elaborating on the details of the operation.

Al-Shihri has been held in the infamous U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay for six years. In November 2007 he was handed over to Saudi custody, and underwent a “rehabilitation” program designed to teach religious moderation.

Upon the completion of the program, al-Shihri left for Yemen, despite travel restrictions to stay in Saudi Arabia.

He was publicly identified in January 2009 as the deputy leader of AQAP.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen, which is considered the world’s most active, has been linked to several attempted attacks on U.S. targets in the past three years, including the foiled Christmas Day bombing of an airliner over Detroit in 2009.

Meanwhile, Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, proposed on Monday in an exclusive interview with CNN to mediate a peace deal between the West and radical Islamists, saying he is “in a unique position to help end the violence and that both sides need to make concessions.”

According to CNN, his 10-year truce proposal calls on the West to end the war on Islam and to release all Islamist prisoners, while al-Qaeda stops “attacks on Western and U.S. interests and protects legitimate Western and U.S. interests in Muslim lands.”

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