Senior Al Qaeda Leader Killed in Drone Attack

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Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdul Rehman Al-Hussainan, considered second-in-command to Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri, was killed on Friday in a drone strike in Pakistan.

US officials and Jihadist's forums reported that Al-Hussainan, also known as Abu Ziad al-Kuwaiti, was killed Friday morning in Pakistan.

"We celebrate to you the news of the martyrdom of the working scholar Shaykh Khalid al-Hussainan while eating his Suhoor meal, and we ask Allah to accept him in paradise," a post said on an Al Qaeda affiliated web forum.

NBC News terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann said that al-Kuwaiti was in the top tier of Al Qaeda following the death of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011, who was also killed in Pakistan.

"That's a big gap in the leadership," said Kohlmann in the NBC News report. "He was the last senior Al Qaeda leader in the Afghanistan-Pakistan area who was, one, from the Arabian Peninsula and, two, who had serious clerical credentials. Now there is no obvious publicly recognisable candidate left to succeed Zawahiri."

In an interview earlier this year, al-Kuwaiti stated he began his religious studies in 1986 in Saudi Arabia.

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