Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi, a top-level commander in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and former confidant of Osama bin Laden, has been killed by a U.S. drone strike, according to a message released by the terror entity.
A U.S. official confirmed with the media that al-Ansi has been neutralized but did not elaborate as to when he was killed.
The SITE intelligence organization believes that Al-Ansi was killed sometime last month near the Yemeni city of al-Mujalla.
After the jihadi killings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, al-Ansi appeared in a video in which he claimed AQAP had ordered the attack. The attacks resulted in the deaths of a dozen individuals, most of whom were responsible for the publication of Charlie Hebdo magazine, which famously featured cartoons of Islam’s Muhammad. Under Islam’s Sharia law, creating depictions of Muhammad are punishable by death.
The AQAP leader also said at the time that the kosher market attack that followed “was a blessing from Allah.”
Al-Ansi encouraged potential recruits to wage “individual jihad” at home instead of coming to the Middle East to fight their holy war on behalf of Islam.
“If he is capable to wage individual jihad in the Western countries that fight Islam — such as America, Britain, France, Canada and others of the countries that represent the head of disbelief in waging war against Islam… if he is capable of that, then that is better and more harmful,” al-Ansi stressed to Western Al Qaeda sympathizers.
The now-deceased Al Qaeda mastermind was born in Yemen in 1975. Some decades later, he would travel to Afghanistan looking to wage jihad, where he would link up with Osama Bin Laden.
Al-Ansi’s colleague, Ibrahim al-Rubaish, the former ideological leader of AQAP, was also killed sometime last month in a U.S. drone strike. Al-Rubaish was a previous detainee at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, but was released in 2006, and would then link up with AQAP in Yemen shortly thereafter.