Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, key Al Qaeda commander
A US drone strike hit at Al Qaeda leadership in Yemen once again killing Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi in April along with his eldest son and several others in the port city of Al Mukalla.
Back in January 2015, Al Ansi appeared in an 11 minute video from Al Malaahim Media claiming responsibility for organizing an attack on staff at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris which left 12 people dead. During his speech he made reference to the two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, who carried out the assault allegedly under the guidance of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP). See following link,
“Charlie Hebdo attack: Al Qaeda releases “Blessed Battle of Paris” video, accepts responsibility, warns of more to come”
Khalid Saeed Batarfi, another AQAP commander who escaped from the Central Prison of Mukalla when it was stormed in April appeared in a video praising al Ansi as a “martyr” who “waged jihad with his teeth and his tongue.” The Long War Journal reported,
“according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, Batarfi said that Al Ansi was one of Osama bin Laden’s ‘special ones.’ Al Ansi ‘took courage and wisdom from bin Laden, as well as the jurisprudence of jihad, movement, and the call.'”
Burning car which was targeted by US drone strike, Yemen (Twitter contact)
Losing Al Ansi is a further blow to AQAP top echelons as in February they confirmed the death of key militant leader Harith bin Ghazi al Nithari targeted in a US drone strike on Shabwa, southern Yemen on January 31st 2015. AQAP also named three others killed in the same attack as Sa’id Awadh ba Faraj, Abd as Sami’I Nasir al Hada’a and Azzam al Hadhrami. See following link for full statement,
“Al Qaeda release statement confirming deaths of key militant and 3 mujahid brothers”
Prior to this, Al Ansi appeared in a video from December 2014 regarding American hostage Luke Somers saying he would be killed in 3 days if the US government did not co-operate with AQAP’S demands. Mr. Somers and a local woman were later killed during a failed raid by American Special Operations troops after John Kerry claimed there was “a compelling indication that Luke’s life was in immediate danger” and President Obama authorized military intervention. See article,
“Yemen: Al Qaeda commander slates Obama over US raid which led to deaths of hostages and killing of local female”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.