Nasir al-Wuhayshi

Nasir al-Wuhayshi is the U.S.-designated emir (leader) of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and deputy leader of al-Qaeda.“Designations of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Senior Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, January 19, 2010, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/01/135364.htm; “Nasir al-Wuhayshi,” Berkley Center, accessed May 19, 2015, http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/people/nasir-al-wuhayshi. According to Yemeni security forces, Nasir al-Wuhayshi was killed by a U.S. drone on June 15, 2015. Tweets from AQAP sources confirm that al-Wuhayshi has been “martyred,” and will be succeeded as head of AQAP by military commander Qasim al-Raymi.“Top al Qaeda leader reported killed in Yemen,” CNN, June 15, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/15/middleeast/yemen-aqap-leader-killed/index.html.

Al-Wuhayshi was appointed emir in November 2008 by then-deputy leader of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri.“Five Key Members of AQAP,” Stephen Kurczy, Christian Science Monitor, November 2, 2010, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/1102/Five-key-members-of-Al-Qaeda-in-Yemen-AQAP/Nasir-al-Wuhayshi-head-of-AQAP. Al-Wuhayshi oversaw the 2009 merger of the Yemeni and Saudi al-Qaeda branches that formed AQAP.Gregory D. Johnsen, “A Profile of AQAP’s Upper Echelon,” Combatting Terrorism Center, July 24, 2012, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/a-profile-of-aqaps-upper-echelon. In 2013, he was chosen by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as deputy of al-Qaeda.“Nasir al-Wuhayshi,” Berkley Center, accessed May 19, 2015, http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/people/nasir-al-wuhayshi. The U.S. Department of State designated al-Wuhayshi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in January 2010.“Designations of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Senior Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, January 19, 2010, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/01/135364.htmi. He is believed to operate out of Yemen.

Wuhayshi was born in southern Yemen in 1976.Gregory D. Johnsen, “A Profile of AQAP’s Upper Echelon,” Combatting Terrorism Center, July 24, 2012, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/a-profile-of-aqaps-upper-echelon. After becoming in thrall to a radical interpretation of Islam during his study at a private religious institute, al-Wuhayshi ventured to Afghanistan to join al-Qaeda.Gregory D. Johnsen, “A Profile of AQAP’s Upper Echelon,” Combatting Terrorism Center, July 24, 2012, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/a-profile-of-aqaps-upper-echelon. In Afghanistan, al-Wuhayshi entered the confidence of bin Laden and served as his personal secretary for a number of years.Gregory D. Johnsen, “A Profile of AQAP’s Upper Echelon,” Combatting Terrorism Center, July 24, 2012, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/a-profile-of-aqaps-upper-echelon. After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following September 11, 2001, Wuhayshi made his way to Iran where he was arrested.Gregory D. Johnsen, “A Profile of AQAP’s Upper Echelon,” Combatting Terrorism Center, July 24, 2012, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/a-profile-of-aqaps-upper-echelon. Wuhayshi was extradited to his native Yemen, where he escaped and began to establish what would become al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).Gregory D. Johnsen, “A Profile of AQAP’s Upper Echelon,” Combatting Terrorism Center, July 24, 2012, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/a-profile-of-aqaps-upper-echelon.

 
United States
January 19, 2010

The U.S. Department of State designated “Nasir Al-Wahishi” as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on January 19, 2010.“Designations of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Senior Leaders,” U.S. Department of State, January 19, 2010, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/01/135364.htm.

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