WASHINGTON – One of the chief leaders of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, Abu Zaid al Kuwaiti, died in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan, NBC reported, citing U.S. officials.
Al Kuwaiti, considered a potential successor to the current top leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, was slain while at breakfast on Friday morning.
Al Kuwaiti, 46, was considered one of the top leaders of the terrorist outfit remaining after the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
The Web site with Al Qaeda connections was the first to announce the death of Al Kuwaiti, praying that Allah admit him to “His paradise.”
“We celebrate with you the news of the martyrdom of Khalid Shaykh al Hussainan (Abu Zaid al Kuwaiti) as he was eating his Suhur (dawn) meal,” the text said.
In recent years, Al Kuwaiti authorized the publication of several books on religious thought and was seen in numerous Al Qaeda videos giving religious training to a group of the organization’s operatives.
The United States killed three other high-ranking members of the terrorist organization in 2011 during the months following Bin Laden’s death.
Ilyas Kashmiri, leader of a Pakistani group associated with Al Qaeda, was killed on June 3; Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, head of personnel for Bin Laden, was slain on Aug. 22; and Ayman al-Awlaki, a United States citizen who was a leader of Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula, was killed on Sept. 30 of that year.
Since then the United States had not eliminated another leader of such a high rank in the Al Qaeda organization.