Al Qaeda propaganda arm confirms death of senior religious emir

The Al Fajr Media Center, which according to the SITE Intelligence Group is “the exclusive distributor of al Qaeda’s propaganda online,” has confirmed that Khalid bin Abdul Rahman al Husainan has indeed been killed. Husainan, who was also known as Abu Zeid al Kuwaiti, was a top member of al Qaeda’s religious committee. US intelligence officials told The Long War Journal nearly a year ago that he was a potential successor to Abu Yahya al Libi [see LWJ report, Abu Yahya al Libi killed in latest drone strike, US officials say].

The SITE Intelligence Group obtained a copy of a video of an Eid al Ahda video of Husainan that was released by the Al Fajr Media center on March 14. The propaganda arm referred to Husainan as being dead. From SITE:

In the video, Husainan wears an army camouflage jacket and stands in front of a wall lined with rifles and religious texts while passionately delivering his speech. The posting by al-Fajr gave the phrase “may Allah have mercy on him” after giving Husainan’s name, indicating his death.

This is the first official acknowledgement from al Qaeda that Husainan is indeed dead. [Note: we at The Long War Journal were reasonably certain he was killed late last year]. In the beginning of December 2012, two Kuwait jihadists said to be close to Husainan reported on their Twitter account that he died in Afghanistan. Images purported to be Husainan also appeared on the Internet. Husainan is said to have died of wounds suffered in a drone strike in Pakistan at the end of November or the beginning of December (there were three strikes in which Husainan may have been killed: two in South Waziristan on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, and one in North Waziristan on Dec. 6). On Dec. 7, US intelligence officials who track al Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region said they believed Husainan had been killed [see LWJ report, Al Qaeda religious leader thought killed in US drone strike].

Husainan was also honored by Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, the al Qaeda-linked group. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia posted photographs of the al Qaeda religious emir on its Facebook page [see LWJ report, Ansar al Sharia Tunisia honors senior al Qaeda ‘martyrs’].

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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  • mike merlo says:

    Good News

  • sundoesntrise says:

    Even though Al Qaeda’s propaganda outlets always claim massive civilian casualties because of the drones, the FACT is that they have hit AQ very hard and they know it.
    Although their putrid propaganda only ends up reaching a tiny audience of hardcore Jihadists, it is yet more proof that the Internet can be a cocoon of ignorance for those that wish to make up their own version of events – and reality, for that matter.

  • blert says:

    Effectiveness such as this must mean that the drone campaign will soldier on.

  • Jeff Edelman says:

    There are unconfirmed reports that those with him at the time of his demise tried to warn him. But before they could say, “Khalid bin Abdul Rahman al Husainan, duck!” It was too late.

  • Bob says:

    You gotta wonder, are the replacements of these guys very aware that the higher the rank they attain, the higher the chances of dying in the matyrdom they so cherish?

  • mike merlo says:

    @Jeff Edelman
    Too funny. An excellent case for shortening ones name

  • john farallo says:

    good one jeff


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