Yemen: government denies that CIA operative is killed by al Qaeda affiliate


The Yemeni government on Friday disputed claims by a local al Qaeda affiliate which said it had attacked and killed a CIA officer in Aden province, according to Reuters.

The news agency cited a text message sent to reporters in which it said Ansar al Sharia wrote: “The mujihadeen killed a CIA officer on Thursday while he was in Aden province after tracking him and determining he was cooperating with the Sanaa government.”

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Reuters cited an unnamed Yemeni security official as saying that a US security team had been attacked yesterday but had taken no casualties.

The official said a gunman had fired on a US security team which was helping train government forces but that no one had been hurt.

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The Obama Administration last month defended its practice of killing suspected terrorists, even US citizens, with the CIA’s unmanned aerial drones, according to CNN.

The CIA in September killed US-born Anwar al-Awlaki with a drone strike in Yemen.

US Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson said in a Feb 22 speech at Yale University that the practice was both justified and legal.

“Belligerents who also happen to be US citizens do not enjoy immunity where non-citizen belligerents are valid military objectives,” Johnson was quoted as saying.

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