Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the Death of Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula Leader Nasir al-Wahishi
The Intelligence Community has concluded that Nasir al-Wahishi, the leader of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and deputy to al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been killed in Yemen. Wahishi’s death strikes a major blow to AQAP, al-Qa’ida’s most dangerous affiliate, and to al-Qa’ida more broadly. Wahishi had led AQAP since its founding in 2009 and oversaw the group’s plotting against the United States, U.S. interests in the Arabian Peninsula, and those of our allies in the region. Wahishi was responsible for the deaths of innocent Yemenis and Westerners, including Americans, but—through the concerted efforts of our counterterrorism professionals—we were able to thwart many of his attack plans.
The President has been clear that terrorists who threaten the United States will not find safe haven in any corner of the globe. While AQAP, al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates will remain persistent in their efforts to threaten the United States, our partners, and our interests, Wahishi’s death removes from the battlefield an experienced terrorist leader and brings us closer to degrading and ultimately defeating these groups.