The leader of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen in custody
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Affected Countries: yemen;
The leader of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen has been under arrest since October, and the terror group has suffered an erosion of its ranks caused by desertions, according to a United Nations report released Thursday.
The report marked official confirmation that AQAP chief Khalid Batarfi had been detained, following unconfirmed reports. His arrest represents a propaganda embarrassment for the group, which promotes the idea of “martydom” among its followers, and could provide potentially invaluable intelligence to counterterrorism efforts led by the United States.
Batarfi was arrested and his deputy, Saad Atef al Awlaqi, died during an “operation in Ghayda City, Al-Mahrah Governorate, in October,” according to the report to the U.N. Security Council from a U.N. monitoring team that tracks Al Qaeda, Islamic State and other extremist groups.
The report did not offer further details about the arrest or where Batarfi is being held.
Source: NBC News