7 July 2011
ZINJIBAR, YEMEN (BNO NEWS) -- Yemeni security forces on Thursday announced that a senior al-Qaeda commander was killed in the southern province of Abyan, the state-run Saba news agency reported.
Mubarak Firas al-Juhmi, one of the most wanted al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen, was killed during clashes with military troops on Wednesday night near the provincial capital city of Zinjibar.
The alleged al-Qaeda leader was killed along Shaif al-Jarbou'a al-Hejazi, Mus'ab bin Mabkhout bin Aboud al-Sharif, Saeed bin Ahmed bin Ghulaib and many other suspected terrorists.
According to the Yemeni government, al-Juhmi is the leader of an al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) cell operating in Serwah district, Marib province. His group allegedly killed five soldiers in an ambush recently.
Al-Juhmi is one of the most wanted and dangerous al-Qaeda leaders. He trained terrorists on using weapons and carrying bombings in the al-Farouq camps in Afghanistan, which belonged to the late Osama Bin Laden. He returned to Yemen after the 9/11 attacks in New York.
Abyan has witnessed continuing clashes in the last forty days between Islamic militants and security forces. At least 150 soldiers have been killed and around 40,000 residents have fled the area.
On late June, six suspected al-Qaeda members of the wanted Aden cell were arrested in the port city of Aden. They were specialists in bomb making and were attempting to carry out terrorist attacks in Aden and other cities when arrested.
Also last month, 62 prisoners escaped from the central security prison in the southern city of Mukalla. The convicts were all AQAP members and were serving sentences of over five years in prison on charges relating to terrorism.
One guard and three prisoners were killed while two more were arrested during the prison break which was labeled as the biggest prison breakout of AQAP members in Yemen.
In May, authorities informed that AQAP militants were taking advantage of the protests demanding the immediate departure of longtime President Saleh in the country to perpetrate terrorist acts; mostly in the southern region.
AQAP is based primarily in the tribal areas outside of the capital city Sana'a, which remains outside the control of the Yemeni government. The terrorist organization has orchestrated high-profile attacks since 2009.
Most notably, AQAP sent Nigerian-born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who attempted to detonate an explosive device aboard a Northwest Airlines flight on December 25, 2009. This was the first attempted U.S. homeland attack by an al-Qaeda affiliate since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.