Posted by Thomas Nephew on November 5th, 2002
U.S. Strike Kills Six in Al Qaeda (Washington Post):
A missile fired by a U.S. Predator drone over Yemen Sunday killed six suspected al Qaeda terrorists in a vehicle about 100 miles east of the nation’s capital, the first time the United States has used the unmanned weapon outside Afghanistan, sources familiar with the action said yesterday.
A senior administration official said Yemeni defense officials had identified one of the men killed as Abu Ali al-Harithi, a senior al Qaeda leader and one of the terrorist network’s top figures in Yemen. Al-Harithi is one of the suspected planners of the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, which killed 17 American sailors in the Yemeni harbor of Aden, and has been linked to the Oct. 7 bombing of a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen.
There’s a great AP photo of some guy poking through the rubble. Great photos need great captions, leave yours as a comment if you like. “Asses to ashes”? The group was probably not on a coffee-and-doughnuts run. As ABC News reports:
Yemeni government sources have confirmed that traces of explosives and communications equipment were found in the car traveling in the oil-producing Marib province, about 100 miles east of the capital, San’a on Sunday.
…making me even less concerned about some Swedish foreign minister’s concerns (“summary execution”) than I already thought possible.
It’s a quibble, but we might have left this and the next two or three attacks “unexplained” for a while. On the other hand, this may slow down the operations these guys were planning, make their buddies rethink their travel plans, and allow more time to prevent terror attacks. In the meantime: are there any Predators flying over the “Empty Quarter“?