World News – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has posted online an audio message from its second-in-command, Saeed al-Shehri, whose death was announced by Yemen in January, a monitoring group reported Wednesday.
The 14-minute audio produced by AQAP’s media arm Al-Malahem Foundation is accompanied by what the US-based SITE Monitoring Service said was a new photograph of the Saudi militant.
Shehri’s death has been announced several times by the Yemeni authorities, most recently on January 24. It was unclear when the latest audio message, posted on jihadist forms on Tuesday, had been recorded.
Most of the message is directed against Saudi Arabia, which Shehri accuses of allowing Americans to attack “the faithful of Yemen” from their soil. “We must get rid of the Al-Saud regime by all means,” he says.
He was clearly referring to US drone strikes against Al-Qaeda targets in Yemen which jihadists claim are launched from bases in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
Shehri has long been been hounded by Yemen’s security forces and has survived a number of attempts on his life.
Yemen’s Supreme National Security Committee had in January reported that Shehri succumbed to wounds received in a counter-terrorism operation in the northern Saada province on November 28.
Last October, he denied a September announcement by Yemen’s defence ministry that he had been killed in an army raid, in an audio message posted on extremist Internet forums.
SITE had also quoted a radical Islamist as reporting on Twitter that Shehri had died “after a long journey in fighting the Zionist-Crusader campaign.”
In the latest message, Shehri made no reference to reports of his death. Agencies