A senior member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has confirmed that Said al-Shihri, its second-in-command, has been killed in Yemen.
In a video statement posted online on Wednesday, Ibrahim al Rubaish said that Shihri had been killed in a drone attack, but did not say when, according to SITE, a US based monitoring website.
Shihri, a Saudi national, was freed by the US authorities from detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2007, where he was taken in January 2002 after Pakistan handed him to US authorities.
“I present my condolences to all the Mujahideen on the martyrdom of Said al-Shehri who was killed in a US drone attack,” said Rubaish.
Rubaish did not say when the strike occurred.
Shihri was rumoured, on several occasions, to have been killed by drone strikes before.
In January, Yemeni authorities said he had died after suffering from injuries in an operation by Yemeni security forces on November 28, 2012, in the northern province of Saada.
Shihri, who was described by US officials as one of the most important al-Qaeda-linked fighters to be released from Guantanamo, helped initiate AQAP in Yemen after his release.
AQAP is described by Washington as the most dangerous and deadliest wing of al-Qaeda.
The US has used unmanned drones to target the group, which has planned attacks on international targets including airliners.