The State Department has added Khalid Batarfi, an al Qaeda veteran and senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader, to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists. Batarfi threatened the US and Jews in a video released by AQAP just yesterday.
Ibrahim al Qosi, a former Guantanamo detainee, is one of three senior AQAP leaders featured in a video released this week titled, “Secrets, its Dangers and the Departure of the Best of Us.” The video is focused on the US drone campaign and the jihadists’ lapses in security.
CENTCOM identified the AQAP operatives who were killed as “key Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leaders.” Their responsibilities included “external operations facilitator,” an operative who paves the way for attacks outside of Yemen, an arms facilitator, and a member of its proselytizing council.
One of the leaders “planned” the March 2015 Bardo Museum attack in Tunis, which was claimed by the Islamic State. Another serves as Shabaab’s deputy emir.
Pro al Qaeda jihadists reported on social media that Abu Hajar al-Makki, an Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) propaganda official, was killed in a US drone strike earlier this week. The US has been targeting AQAP’s propagandists throughout the year and has also done so in the past.
On Nov. 17, The Foundation for Defense of Democracies and FDD’s Long War Journal held an event to discuss the findings from the recently released documents from Osama bin Laden’s compound.
The US has stepped up its air campaign on the Islamic State’s network in Yemen as the group has intensified its attacks on Yemeni security forces in the alternate capital of Aden.
An estimated 60 Islamic State fighters are thought to have been killed in three US strikes that have targeted the group over the past two weeks.