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FRANCE - YEMEN

Al Qaida chief who claimed Charlie Hebdo attack killed in Yemen

Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi claims responsiblity for the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015
Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi claims responsiblity for the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015 AFP

The Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap) leader who claimed responsibility for January's Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris has been killed by a US drone, the armed Islamist group announced on Thursday. Nasser al-Ansi was killed along with his son and six other fighters last month, Aqap said in a video posted on Twitter

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Another Aqap leader, Abou al-Miqdad al-Kindi, announced that al-Ansi was killed by a drone strike in Moukalla, in the Yemeni governorate of Hadramout in April in a video monitored by US-based Islamist-watchers SITE.

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

On 7 January al-Ansi declared that Aqap was behind the Kouachi brothers' murderous attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical paper.

In other videos he defended attacks in Europe and the US, the "far enemy" in the terminology of armed Islamist groups, and threatened to kill US journalist Luke Somers, who later died in a botched US raid along with South African Pierre Korkie.

According to a biography written by Aqap, al-Ansi was born in Yemen in 1975, fought in Bosnia in 1995, later going to Kashmir and Afghanistan, where he met Osama bin Laden.

Washington had offered a five-billion-dollar (4.5-million-euro) reward for his death but, as usual, has refused to comment on the specific drone strike.

Al-Kindi, also known as Khaled ben Omar Batarfi, was freed from prison when al-Qaida captured Moukalla.

 

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