Remember that we heard many times that Osama bin Laden was dead, and that Adam Gadahn was dead, only to see them pop up again, so take this one with a grain of salt. “Yemen says Fort Hood-linked imam may be dead,” for Reuters, December 24 (thanks to Patrick Poole):
SANAA (Reuters) – A Yemeni air raid may have killed the top two leaders of al Qaeda’s regional branch on Thursday, and an American Muslim preacher linked to the man who shot dead 13 people at a U.S. army base may also have died, a Yemeni security official said.
Nasser al-Wahayshi, the Yemeni leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and his Saudi deputy, Saeed al-Shehri, were believed to be among 30 militants killed in the dawn operation in the eastern province of Shabwa, said the official, who asked not to be identified.
U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may also have died in the air strike which targeted a meeting of militants planning attacks on Yemeni and foreign oil and economic targets, he said.
If all the deaths are confirmed, the air strike would appear to have struck a severe blow against AQAP, seen as the most dangerous regional offshoot of Osama bin Laden’s network.
“Anwar al-Awlaki is suspected to be dead,” the official said of the cleric who was on the run in Yemen, where he was on the government’s most-wanted list of terrorist suspects.
According to U.S. officials, the U.S. army psychiatrist who ran amok at the Fort Hood army base in Texas on November 5 had contacts with Awlaki….