US Predators kill AQAP media emir: report

The Yemeni Defense Ministry claimed that an Egyptian named Ibrahim al Bana who served as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s “media chief” was killed last night in a US Predator airstrike. The report is unconfirmed. According to The Associated Press, the strike that killed Bana was one of five in Shabwa province in southern Yemen last night. Bana is said to have been killed in Azzan, one of several cities in the south under AQAP control. From AP:

The slain media chief, identified as Egyptian-born Ibrahim al-Bana, was killed along with six other militants in the southeastern province of Shabwa on Friday night, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said in a statement released Saturday. Security officials said an American drone carried out the attack, which was one of five overnight strikes that targeted suspected al-Qaida positions in Shabwa and the neighboring province of Abyan in Yemen’s largely lawless south.

Officials and tribal elders in the area said the strike followed a meeting of al-Qaida militants in a house in Azan, a district in Shabwa. A missile hit the house after the militants had already left, but a second strike targeted two sport utility vehicles in which the seven were traveling after the meeting.

The two vehicles were completely destroyed and the men’s bodies were charred, said the officials and the tribal elders speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. It was not clear whether other participants in the meeting were targeted in separate strikes.

The Yemen Post also reported that Bana was killed, and claimed that “Abdul Rahman, the son of Anwar Awlaqi was also believed to be killed in the air strike.” Indian Express claimed that Sarhan al Quso, the brother of Fahd al Quso, a top operational commander for AQAP, was also killed. The reports are also unconfirmed.

It is unclear if Bana led the Malahim Media Foundation, AQAP’s media outlet. The founder of the Malahim Media Foundation, Nayef bin Mohammed bin Said al Kudri Qahtani, was killed in Yemen sometime in late 2010.

If Bana’s death is confirmed, he will be the third senior AQAP media official to have been killed in the past two weeks. On Sept. 30, American jihadists Anwar al Awlaki and Samir Khan were killed in a US Predator strike in Marib province. Awlaki was a top ideologue, recruiter, and operational commander for AQAP. Khan ran AQAP’s English-language media, including Inspire magazine.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Soccer says:

    They are all dropping like flies.
    At this point, Jihadists refrain from issuing martyrdom statements too much because it would make them look weak and battered.
    Relying on martyrdom statements at this point in the game is not an accurate thing to do.

  • gerald says:

    Predators/Reapers Rule!!! The Jihadis are getting a taste of the terror they have inflicted all these years.

  • Phineas says:

    “Al Bana?” I wonder if he’s related to Hasan al-Banna, one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood?

  • Todd says:

    All this while Saleh guns down peaceful protesters in Sana’a.
    Sometimes I feel we miss the big picture by focusing on the symptom instead of the disease.

  • LarryLinn says:

    Good riddance!

  • Nolan says:

    This is again very interesting news. It would be more accurate to name Ibrahim Mohamed Saleh al-Banna as an intel chief for AQAP. It also has to be noted that he was a close associate of Dr. Zawahiri and was in Yemen with Abu Ayub al-Masri (Zarqawi’s successor) for a long time. Apparently, the EIJ had a role in setting up militant operations in Yemen. Also interesting is the fact that the Yemenis have claimed in the past that he was killed, particularly after the Jan. 15, 2010 drone strike in which they also claimed Qasim al-Rimi was killed. They used his kunya in reporting his death, Abu Ayman al-Masri. He was also apparently arrested in 2010 and “revealed” much information to the Yemenis, but then was released as these guys always seem to be. Most likely he was “arrested” in order to claim that other rebel groups within Yemen were the true “villains.” That at least seems to be the case.,,THE_JF,,SDN,,4d26cd802,0.html
    In the end though, he was a guy with ties to many major militants in the region and has been of some import for well over decade. Another important kill for the CIA.

  • Michael Saint says:

    So, it seems once again, the elusive Al-Banna was targeted!
    It seems that Ibrahim Al-Banna is so good a target, he is worthy of recycling in the news. After all, it’s not like any reporters actually check their sources, not even with a google search!
    On a more interesting note, a shmikh forum poster claims that Al-Banna was not killed in the second predator attack. The forum poster’s illustrious reputation is full of surfacy comments and praise for Yemen. In other words, the account was built up for this little swish.
    I’m thinking another INSPIRE is around the bend.
    What do you think, eh comrade?


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