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Al-Qaeda in Yemen says ideological leader killed by drone

Ibrahim al-Rubaish was killed with several other militants in a “crusade raid”

Published: Updated:

Yemen's al-Qaida branch says its top cleric, a Saudi-national who has had a $5 million bounty on his head, has been killed.

The group said in a statement on Tuesday that Ibrahim al-Rubaish was killed in a drone attack two days earlier. The group did not specify where the purported strike took place.

Yemeni and U.S. officials had no immediate comment on the claim.

Al-Rubaish was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2006, after which he joined al-Qaida in Yemen. He was considered the group's the main ideologue and theological adviser and his writings and sermons were prominent in its publications.

Last year, he hailed the seizure of swaths of land in Iraq and Syria by al-Qaida's rival, the Islamic State group.