Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula announces the killing of its leader and the installation of a successor News

Announce Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -Sunday- Its leader, Khaled Batarfi, was killed, without providing reasons for this, indicating that Saad bin Atef Al-Awlaki is the new leader of the organization, which is based in Yemen, according to a statement by the SITE Center, which monitors jihadist media.

Batarfi assumed leadership of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in early 2020 after the killing of his predecessor Qasim Al-Raimi In an American drone attack, while former US President Donald Trump said it was a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen.

Batarfi was a Saudi born in Riyadh in his early forties. Before assuming leadership of the organization, he worked as a Sharia judge and official spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In 2018, the United States classified him as a “global terrorist” and offered a reward of $5 million in exchange for providing information about him.

Batarfi was one of 150 imprisoned members of the organization released when the group seized the Yemeni coastal city of Mukalla in 2015, where he was being held.

As for his successor, Al-Awlaki, he is a Yemeni, also known as Saad Muhammad Atef, a member of the organization’s Shura Council and on the list of the American “Rewards for Justice Program.” The United States offered a reward of up to $6 million to anyone who provides information about him.

SITE said that Al-Awlaki last appeared in a video clip issued in February 2023, in which he urged Sunni tribesmen in the Yemeni governorates of Abyan and Shabwa to resist the initiatives of the UAE and the Southern Transitional Council to join their fight against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The US State Department says that Al-Awlaki “publicly called for attacks on the United States and its allies.”

The United States considers Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to be one of the most dangerous branches Al-Qaida organization Who founded it Osama bin Laden. The organization claimed responsibility for several attacks, especially an attack targeting the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, which resulted in the deaths of 12 people.

The organization also constantly launches attacks targeting Yemeni soldiers, the most notable of which was in September, when 4 soldiers were killed in an attack in Shabwa Governorate, southeastern Yemen.

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