Al Qaeda leader taken out by ‘secret’ US missile filled with knives dubbed the ‘ninja bomb’

The journey of two senior Al Qaeda-aligned commanders in northwestern Syria on Sunday was suddenly cut short by a targeted U.S.-led strike — only it doesn’t appear that they were killed by explosives, but a missile packed with knives. Video of the aftermath circulating on social media shows that the vehicle of the terrorist leaders – Jordanian Qassam ul-Urdini and Yemeni Bilal al-Sanaani – was mostly untouched, with just one side severed and the roof smashed in, prompting defense analysts to point to the use of a “secret” missile jointly developed by both the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It is a variation of the Hellfire anti-tank missile, referred to as the R9X, and internally called the “Flying Ginsu” or the “ninja bomb,” and it just might drastically shape the way war is waged given its exactitude and subsequent ability to vastly reduce the risk of collateral damage and civilian casualties. “The Hellfire R9X missile is a modified version of the Hellfire anti-tank missile, the likes of which have been featured on America drones like the Reaper and Predator.​ The reference to knives is no accident, as it features multiple steel blades that emerge from the missile moments before impact,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) told Fox News. “The result is a much smaller kill radius, which can limit the damage caused by the missile to the intended target area. Such a feature is increasingly needed for counterterrorism campaigns, where the fighting is closer-in, and the environment around the target is more dense and likely to be filled with non-combatants.​” According to an analysis by “The War Zone,” the R9X doesn’t explode and wields six long blades “that are stowed inside and then deploy through the skin of the missile seconds before impact to ensure that it shreds anything in its tracks,” flying directly into designated targets. Compared to the traditional Hellfire, which ignites a potent blast, leaves a mangled mess in its wake and runs the risk of killing others within a 700-foot radius, the new modification is considered to be quite the advancement with a 100 percent deadly danger zone of 30 inches. The 100-pound Hellfire R9X was first publicly brought to light by The Wall Street Journal in May last year, and characterized by defense officials as being dependent on the force of impact in conjunction with the aureole of six blades that furl out during flight. Aside from its suspected use in Syria this past weekend, experts have pointed to numerous other occasions the weapon has been used to take down terrorist leaders not only in Syria but also in Yemen and Afghanistan. One occasion was in a January 2019 strike on a Taliban commander in Kunduz, Afghanistan. That same month, Jamal al-Badawi – alleged to have been the mastermind behind the attack of the USS Cole in a Yemeni port 20 years ago – was similarly neutralized. Two years earlier, Al Qaeda top brass Ahmad Hasan Abu Khayr al-Masri was targeted using the R9X in Syria’s Idlib province, WSJ reported. “Some analysts allege that the Hellfire R9X was used in Iraq in a deadly display of its effectiveness this January against Qassem Soleimani – the former Commander of Iran’s IRGC Quds-Force, and Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis, the former Commander of pro-Iranian militias in Iraq,” Taleblu surmised. “One lasting impact of that strike is how removing the leadership cadre can handicap or hinder efforts of a larger organization. We are likely to see continued use of this weapon in U.S. counterterrorism campaigns to target leaders on the battlefield.​” The weapon was under development as early as 2011, according to The Wall Street Journal, and a “missile with similar capabilities was considered as a ‘Plan B’ to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that year,” and that is advancement was spurred by the increasing ability of terrorists to adapt to U.S. airstrikes and tactics, namely concealing themselves among women and children. While it is not known just how many R9X’s are tucked away in the Pentagon’s depository, military experts have been quick to highlight its efficiency, citing examples that the Hellfire variation has the capability of killing a passenger and not a driver, or leaving a terrorist leader dead in his house and not any relatives sitting at the same table. Its edges are able to effectively slice through walls and roofs, according to experts. On the downside, DefenseOne points out that the use of the missile, especially outside of officially declared war zones, could lead to an uptick in military engagement and overt confidence that no civilians will be caught in the crossfire. However, Col. John Venable, a Heritage senior research fellow and former F-16 pilot in the Air Force, points out that the R9X is essentially an old tried-and-true tool made new again. “The munition with ‘knives’ has been around since at least the Vietnam War. The military term for the warhead is ‘flechettes,’ which are dart-like submunitions that are released and spread out in flight as an anti-personnel device,” Venable said. “Munitions have had a variety of warheads since before the Civil War, where they used everything from classic exploding cannonballs, to dumbbell-shaped projectiles and ‘grapeshot,’ which was basically shotgun-shell BBs (only much larger) that used mass and velocity as the engagement mechanism,” he added. “It’s really not much different today. There are high-explosive, penetrating, and even inert warheads – that use mass and velocity as the engagement mechanism while minimizing collateral damage.”

Well said, Colonel.  Score one for the good guys!  For pics and more from the folks at The War Zone, click on the text above.

Navy SEAL Raid in Yemen Spotlights Issue of Female Terrorists Amid Trump’s Temporary Refugee Halt

Lost in much of the news media coverage surrounding the deadly Navy SEAL raid in Yemen last Sunday is that the details of the operation spotlight the issue of female terrorists inside that country, extremists who could potentially abuse the U.S. refugee program. Numerous articles the past two weeks have sought to frame President Donald Trump’s temporary halt on refugees while the government revamps its flawed security screening process as an action that disproportionately harms female refugees, as if only males could be potential jihadists. “Children, women account for most Syrian refugees to US,” reads a Boston Globe article. The newspaper relates: “President Trump’s indefinite ban on the entry of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria will primarily affect children and women. Nearly three quarters of the Syrian refugees who were settled in the United States last year were either children or women, federal data show.” The popular Elle magazine featured a piece titled, “8 Women Respond to Trump’s Immigration Ban.” The Council on Foreign Relations lamented the “disproportionate impact” Trump’s executive order “will have on women.” “How Trump’s executive order harms women refugees,” was the title of the CFR post. Missing from the debate about the refugee program’s impact on women are reports that female fighters aided al-Qaida militants during last Sunday’s raid in Yemen, one of seven countries singled out in Trump’s temporary refugee halt. According to those reports, the daring mission sought to gather intelligence on al-Qaida groups in Yemen and detain local tribal leaders purportedly collaborating with the global terrorist group. Instead, as the New York Times reported, “a massive firefight ensued, claiming the life of an American sailor and at least one Yemeni child.” The Times reported U.S. commandoes were surprised when women joined the gun battle..

Well, no need to be surprised about that..  We’ve been seeing female suicide bombers for years; over a decade.  It’s been well documented even in unclassified sources.  This refugee ban is eminently smart.  Heck, Obama did the same thing back in 2010, and did so for 6 months; not a mere 120 days as Trump wants to do.  But..  It’s Trump.  And, as one tv pundit said recently, “if Trump found the cure for cancer, they’d figure a way to condemn or attack him.”  No kidding..  There is now sufficient FACTUAL info out there for Americans to get a sense of the real threat we face from these Islamo-fascist lunatics.  And, we should ALL be demanding..  Why wasn’t this ban on immigrants and so-called “refugees” not in place already?!?   These idiot protestors either are willfully ignorant and need to be simply ignored.  Hopefully Trump will just keep driving on and not letting those losers distract him.  Anyway, to read the rest of that article, click on the text above.

Al Qaeda leader appears to pledge allegiance to Taliban in Afghanistan

The leader of Al Qaeda has reportedly backed Afghan Taliban in a move to boost the group’s efforts after President Barack Obama approved the expansion of the U.S. military’s role in battle-torn nation. According to Reuters, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the he would “pledge allegiance” to Taliban guerrillas fighting in Afghanistan in an online audio recording. “As leader of the Al Qaeda organization for jihad, I extend my pledge of allegiance once again, the approach of Osama to invite the Muslim nation to support the Islamic Emirate,” he said in a 14-minute recording. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mijahed told Bloomberg that the group is still waiting to receive confirmation from its top officials. “If confirmed, the endorsement will deliver brightness to our spirits and strengthen our jihad against U.S. invaders.” Earlier this week, senior U.S. and defense officials told the Associated Press the White House approved plans to expand the military’s authority to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban when necessary as the violence in Afghanistan begins to escalate. Several officials said the decision was made in recent days to expand the authority of U.S. commanders to strike the Taliban and better support and assist the Afghan forces when needed in critical operations, using the U.S. troops already in the country. There is a broad desire across the Obama administration to give the military greater ability to help the Afghans fight and win the war. The 9,800 U.S. troops still in Afghanistan, however, would still not be involved in direct combat.

Of course not..  That might mean actual victory.  So, while Obama, and his minions, talk about the “desire” to win the war there, he simply isn’t willing to do what is necessary to do that.  So, all we’ll see is more wasteful million-dollar airstrikes which are impressive, and I’m sure take out High Value Targets (HVT)..  BUT, in order to win any campaign, ground combat troops are required.  Period.  Anyway, this is a significant.  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Al Qaeda’s online magazine tells terrorists to target U.S. business leaders in their homes

Al Qaeda’s Inspire online magazine is calling on jihadis to damage the American economy by killing business leaders and entrepreneurs in their homes. Articles in the May 14 edition, its 15th, also urge radical Islamic terrorists to emulate the Palestinian street-killings of Jews by walking up to Americans and stabbing them to death. Inspire’s cover carries the headline “Professional Assassinations” and the subhead “Home Assassinations.” It depicts the dark profile of a hooded killer stalking a victim who lives in an upscale American home. A photo montage shows Microsoft founder Bill Gates, a pistol and spattered blood. The kill list represents a different kind of target compared with the ultraviolent Islamic State, which has urged the killings of U.S. military personnel via assassination. Both Sunni extremist groups advocate mass killings. The periodical is published by al Qaeda’s main affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), whose priority from its base in Yemen is to attack the U.S. homeland. With Inspire, al Qaeda was the first Islamic terrorist group to exploit the Internet’s reach by publishing and distributing a sort of trade publication on the killing business. The Islamic State has taken use of the Internet to new heights with mass distribution of propaganda on social media and with terrorist communication hidden on encrypted apps. The Islamic State also sends out an online publication on savagery, called Dabiq. The Middle East Media Research Institute quotes Inspire’s editor, Yahya Ibrahim: “The prophet ordered the killing of many criminal leaders using this method … And here we are, following the footsteps of the prophet on how he dealt with his enemies and friends.” “We will never put down our weapons until we fulfill what Allah wants from us. We are determined to keep fighting and striking Americans with operations by organized jihadi groups and by Lone Jihad, [and] pursuing America in its homeland — by the will of Allah,” he is quoted as saying. Said a MEMRI analysis: “The issue … provides detailed information and instructions on preparing for and carrying out various targeted assassinations. It stresses that an assassin should possess different options to carry out an attack, which gives him or her a greater chance for success, and elevates the operation to a more ‘professional’ level.” Another magazine section is devoted to bomb-making, a AQAP specialty. The cell has been trying to develop bombs that a can defeat airport security screening. There is a photo display of how to fit explosives inside a pipe joint and place it inside the cut-out of a book. AQAP developed the “underwear bomb” carried by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on a flight to Detroit. Passengers subdued him as he attempted to ignite the plastic explosive on Christmas Day 2009.

Pentagon: US forces in Yemen to aid fight against Al Qaeda affiliate

A “small number” of U.S. forces have been on the ground in Yemen for the past two weeks helping Yemeni and Emirati forces, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, battle Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters, the Pentagon announced Friday. Their presence marks the first time U.S. troops have been on the ground in Yemen since March 2015, when the U.S. military pulled the last of its special operations forces as a civil war raged. Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. forces are providing “intelligence” support to Arab allies fighting AQAP for a “short term.” He declined to offer a more specific timeline or provide the size of the detachment of U.S. forces, characterizing the group as a “small number.” Davis said there have been four airstrikes against AQAP since late last month. In March, the U.S. military conducted an airstrike in Yemen against the affiliate, killing 70 fighters. The military used jet fighters and drones in the operation, according to officials. Davis said the U.S. Navy also has positioned the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer and two escort ships, USS Gravely and USS Gonzales, both guided-missile destroyers, off the coast of Yemen. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is headquartered aboard the USS Boxer and has over 2,000 U.S. Marines under its command ready to go ashore if needed. Two weeks ago, Yemeni and Emirati forces pushed AQAP militants out of the port city of Mukalla, about halfway down Yemen’s coastline in the Gulf of Aden. The civil war in Yemen has drawn support from Middle Eastern countries along sectarian lines since fighting broke out last year. Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been fighting Yemeni troops loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. AQAP has taken advantage of the chaos to expand its control over large portions of the country. The State Department closed its embassy in Yemen in February 2015. U.S. Marines protecting the embassy were forced to destroy their weapons before boarding a private charter from Oman during the evacuation.

This story is developing..

USS Cole commander blasts transfer of Al Qaeda Gitmo detainees to Saudi Arabia

The man at the helm of the USS Cole when it was attacked by an Al Qaeda cell in 2000 said last month’s release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee linked to the bombers denies justice to the 17 people killed aboard the ship. Kirk Lippold, who was commanding officer of the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer when suicide bombers aboard a small fishing boat blew a hole in the side of the ship, told Mashur Abdallah Ahmed al Sabri’s release was a mistake. “I would have liked to have seen him receive a military commission where he was tried, convicted and sentenced and then his suitability for release determined under the laws of armed conflict,” Lippold said. “From the perspective of the American people and my crew, he’s never been held accountable,” Lippold added. In addition to those killed, 37 service members were wounded in the Oct. 12, 2000 attack, which came as the Cole refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden, nearly a year before Al Qaeda would register its signature attack, on 9/11. Al Sabri, a 38-year-old Yemeni citizen who was born in Saudi Arabia, was at one point believed to have been a member of the terror cell behind the attack, although a subsequent assessment at Gitmo, like many done on detainees who have since been released, downplayed his role. The Obama administration has acclerated the release of Guantanamo detainees to fulfill a campaign pledge to critics who say the suspected combatants are being held indefinitely without due process. There was never enough evidence to bring under a military commission in al Sabri’s case. But a September 2008 report by the Department of Defense assessed al Sabri as “high risk” and “likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies.” At that time, the reason for continued detention was listed as follows: “Detainee was a member of an Yememi Al Qaeda cell which was directly involved with the USS COLE attack. Detainee attended advanced training in Afghanistan after recruitment by a known Al Qaeda facilitator.” A 2014 report, however, said al Sabri “may have” trained at a camp, was merely an Al Qaeda “associate” and “probably did not play a significant role in terrorist operations.” Paul Rester, the former head of interrogations at Guantanamo, said the “language has softened” over the years in many terrorist detainee cases. “The only thing that could have changed is someone’s perception that al Sabri or someone like him mellowed – that they don’t pose much of a threat anymore,” he said. But, Rester noted, “we can’t run a jail indefinitely.”

Um… Why the hell not?!?!  The “language has softened” since 2009 to fit Obama’s agenda of releasing all of these Al Qaeda, ISIS and other Islamic nutjobs.  We wholeheartedly agree with Commander Lippold’s position.  this maggot, al Sabri, should go through a military tribunal at Gitmo, free of any pressure from the Obama administration, and if he is found to be guilty of having a role in the attack on the USS Cole (or any other U.S. interest), then he should be held accountable.  To just release him to fulfill one of Obama’s campaign promises is wrong, and NOT in our country’s national security interests.  Those held at Gitmo aren’t exactly J-walkers.  Just sayin…

U.S. Bombs Al-Shabaab Terror Camp Graduation, Killing over 150 Terrorists

Both manned and unmanned aircraft were reportedly used in a massive U.S. airstrike on a training camp for the al-Shabaab terrorist organization in Somalia on Saturday. Based on Monday reports from the Pentagon, it looks like most of the “graduating class” at the terrorist camp was wiped out while they were “standing outdoors in formation” at a graduation ceremony, according to one U.S. official. The New York Times reports over 150 terrorist casualties from the attack, with no indications of civilian collateral damage. The training facility was located in Rasa, about 120 miles north of Mogadishu. Pentagon officials said the trainees were preparing for a “large-scale attack” on African Union forces, and U.S. special operations forces in Somalia. Fox News quotes Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis saying the camp was kept under close observation for two weeks before the attack. “We struck the camp and destroyed it,” he said of the outcome. The New York Times notes that al-Shabaab has been “making a comeback after American strikes killed the group’s top leadership in 2014.” It is affiliated with al-Qaeda, which is dueling with the Islamic State for the alpha role in global Islamist terrorism. The terror group has been raising its profile with attacks that have killed over 150 people during the past two months, and claimed responsibility for the failed bomb attack on a jetliner in February. Sky News reports an al-Shabaab bombing at a small-town airport wounded an African Union peacekeeper and two Somali soldiers on Monday. The timely destruction of the Rasa training camp should deal a blow to the terror gang’s comeback plans. “The removal of these fighters degrades al-Shabaab’s ability to meet the group’s objectives in Somalia, including recruiting new members, establishing bases, and planning attacks on U.S. and AMISOM forces,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook, quoted by ABC News. AMISOM refers to the African Union Mission in Somalia, evidently the prime target for the major attack al-Shabaab was planning.

Nice!!    🙂

Obama releases al Qaeda’s most skilled explosives expert

The Obama administration has released one of al Qaeda’s most skilled explosives experts, a man personally praised by Osama bin Laden and who created the shoe-bomb design that was used unsuccessfully to bring down an airliner in 2001. The Pentagon said on Thursday that Egyptian Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah, who may have known of the September 11, 2001 plot, was transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the government of Bosnia. Al Sawah fought with the Bosnia army in the early 1990s and eventually made his way to Afghanistan in 2000. Like other members of al Qaeda, al-Sawah began his terrorism career as a member of the secretive Muslim Brotherhood, which is present in the U.S. Al Sawah’s Guantanamo file reveals a number of chronic medical problems in 2008, when secret profile was created by Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Now, 58, he was listed as “morbidly obese,” and suffered at the time from diabetes, fatty liver disease and chronic pain from spinal cord compression. Prison doctors urged him to get more exercise. In his terrorism career, he was close to bin Laden and taught classes in explosives at the al Qaeda leader’s Tarnak Farms training camp. In Afghanistan, al-Sawah developed a mine to sink U.S. ships and the shoe-bomb prototype that Richard Reid attempted to ignite while on a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001. “Detainee also associated with the planners and perpetrators of international terrorist attacks and other senior al-Qaida members, and may have had advanced knowledge of the 11 September 2001 attacks,” states his secret file, which was published by Wikileaks along with hundred of other Gitmo dossiers. “Detainee participated in hostilities against U.S. and Coalition forces, and is a veteran extremist combatant.” Joint Task Force Guantanamo judged al-Sawah to be a “medium” risk to U.S. troops and recommended him for transfer. The publicized file may prove a problem for al-Sawah on the outside. He became an “exceptional” intelligence source, his file says, which could cause a terrorist to seek revenge. “He has been compliant over the last four years,” the file says. “He continues to be a highly prolific source and has provided invaluable intelligence regarding explosives, al-Qaida, affiliated entities and their activities. If released, detainee will possibly reestablish extremist associations, but is unlikely to do so as his cooperation with the U.S. government may serve to identify detainee as a target for revenge by those associates.” His released brings the prison population, once at over 700, to 92, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. President Obama plans to close the prison and bring who is ever left at Gitmo to an American prison. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, says Mr. Obama would be violating federal law which prohibits the action.

Wow..  Feel safer?

Obama releases Gitmo detainees determined to keep trying to kill Americans

Among the 10 Yemeni terrorists released by the Obama administration this week, one is Muhammad Salih Husayn al-Shaykh, a man who has pledged to kill as many Americans as possible. Another of the latest group is Abu Bakr Ibn Muhammad al-Ahdal, an al Qaeda member described by the intelligence community as a “willing terrorist against the U.S.” In fact, five of the 10 were deemed by the George W. Bush administration in 2008 as a “high risk” to go back on the battlefield and kill Americans. The other five were designated “medium” risks. The release of the 10 detainees brings the population at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to 93 — the first time it’s dropped below 100 detainees since 2002, at the height of the fight in Afghanistan against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter also said Thursday he’s “framed” for President Obama a plan to close the prison entirely and bring the remaining detainees to the U.S. He said he hopes Congress will approve the plan, but, in the meantime, he’ll keep looking for cases such as al-Shaykh and al-Ahdal. “While we work with Congress on the way forward, we will continue to transfer Guantanamo detainees to other countries when and as we have mitigated any security risk to the United States,” he said. But the release of high-risk detainees to Oman, from which they could relaunch terror careers in nearby Yemen, underscores the increasingly slim pickings Mr. Obama and Mr. Carter have as they press for shuttering the prison. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Republican, said she fears the 10 will spend little time in Oman before traveling home to Yemen, where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operates and is determined to strike the American homeland. “I am particularly concerned that the Omani government has accepted the detainees for what they are calling a ‘temporary stay,’ which raises serious questions about whether they will even be detained in Oman, for how long and under what conditions,” Ms. Ayotte said. “The administration should be forthright with the American people regarding these concerns, and also about the detainees’ terrorist activities, associations and their actions at Gitmo.” Ibrahim al-Qosi, a bin Laden confidant released by the Obama administration in 2012, has returned to terrorism as a spokesman and recruiter for AQAP. About 30 percent of Guantanamo graduates have resumed, or are suspected of restarting, terrorist activity. The number will likely increase as intelligence agencies gather more information. The Obama administration points out that, if they do reengage, they are subject to being killed. The public knows about these terrorists, not because the government released details, but because WikiLeaks acquired and posted scores of “secret” 2008 detainee assessments by Joint Task Force Guantanamo. The dossiers are chilling in that the al Qaeda members seemed just as committed in 2008 as when they joined Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan nexus. Al-Shaykh presented himself to U.S. officials as a hardened member of al Qaeda who wants to kill. “Detainee has threatened to kill all Americans and identified [bin Laden] as his brother in arms,” the assessment states. “Detainee was recruited through a known al Qaeda facilitation network and he was identified as a suicide operative. Detainee’s threats to kill U.S. personnel and his refusal to truthfully answer questions indicate his continuing support to extremism.” The assessment depicted al-Shaykh as a liar, the user of many aliases and someone deeply rooted in the al Qaeda culture of murder justified by the Koran. “Detainee has repeatedly threatened to kill US personnel,” reads another report section. “Such threats include the statement that he will kill all Americans and specific threats to cut off the head of guard personnel and his statement, ‘I will kill you, Captain, and I will take your religion away from you.’ Detainee also expressed the threat that [bin Laden] will kill the General (former CJTF), and the president.” For al-Ahdal, the assessment said, “Detainee identified himself as a willing terrorist against the U.S. and acknowledged he was a member of a terrorist support entity in Yemen.” Al-Ahdal fought with al Qaeda in northern Afghanistan and in Tora Bora, one of the last major battles of the 2001 U.S. invasion during which bin Laden slipped away. He was killed in a May 2011 raid in Pakistan by U.S. Navy SEALs. Al-Ahdal was a member of bin Laden’s infamous 55th Arab Brigade, which formed an alliance with the Taliban then ruling Afghanistan, helping them to stay in power. Three other inmates released to Oman were also previously judged too high a threat risk to be released.

This is a follow up to the article we posted yesterday (scroll down) regarding the 10 detainees at Gitmo, etc.  Anyway, to read the rest of this disturbing article by Rowan Scarborough over at The Washington Times, click on the text above.  Rowan is in the same league as Bill Gertz.  Both are very well connected inside the beltway of D.C. in the military and intelligence circles…and know their stuff.  This report from Rowan is devastating, and exposes just how foolish Obama’s stubborn, agenda-driven decision to close Gitmo really is.

Al Qaeda leader behind Charlie Hebdo claim killed by drone strike

A top leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who appeared in a video in which he claimed the terror group was behind the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, was killed in a U.S. drone strike, according to analysts who monitor web chatter from the jihadist organization. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) said a video message released by AQAP announced the death of Yemeni-born Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi. The statement came from Khalid Batirfi, the former AQAP operative who was recently freed during a prison break in Al-Mukalla, Yemen. Further details of the drone strike were not immediately available. In January, Al-Ansi said that AQAP was responsible for the attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper. A total of 16 people were killed in the attack and related incidents over three days. “As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we…claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God,”al-Ansi , said in the recording. “[The] one who chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation is the leadership of the organization. He also said on the video that the attacks were carried out in “implementation” of an order by Al Qaeda’s overall leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, who called for strikes by Muslims in the West using any means available. AQAP was the first to use English publications to reach out to supporters in the West, with the launch in 2010 of its English-language magazine, Inspire. The online magazine featured commentary by a radical U.S.-born cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, who was also killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011. Pentagon Secretary Ashton Carter declined to comment on the report when asked abut it Thursday.