The leader of Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate has been under arrest for several months, according to a United Nations report released on Thursday.
The document said Khalid Batarfi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for just under a year, was arrested and his deputy, Saad Atef al-Awlaqi, died during an “operation in Ghayda City, Al-Mahrah Governorate, in October.”
The report — filed to the Security Council from a UN monitoring team specializing in extremist groups — is the first official confirmation of Batarfi’s arrest following unverified reports.
The wide-ranging document, summarizing global potential jihadist threats, did not disclose the militant’s whereabouts or reveal any further details of the October operation.
But the SITE Intelligence Group noted “unconfirmed reports” in October that Batarfi had been arrested by Yemeni security forces and then handed to Saudi Arabia.