Arabic media outlets and Twitter accounts linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) announced the death of an AQAP leader named Abd al Aziz al Omari as a result of a US drone strike in al Jawf on Sept. 26.
Al Omari, a Saudi who went by a variety of noms-de-guerre, including Muslim al Azdi, Abu Omar al Kholani, and Abu Muslim al Kholani, is especially remembered for his role in running well-known Twitter accounts that are are critical of the US drone program in Yemen.
The Twitter accounts known in Arabic as “American Crimes in Yemen” and in English as “American_Crimes,” reportedly run by al Omari, had a follower base of over 34,000 Twitter users. The Arabic and English accounts are used to document US drone strikes in the country as well as to disseminate news reports released by AQAP.
On Sept. 27, the Arabic Twitter account “American Crimes in Yemen” confirmed that al Omari had been killed in the drone strike the previous day and described the strike as “a drop in the sea of American crimes against the Muslims.” The Twitter account claimed that al Omari had survived a previous drone strike and promised its followers that the account would continue to function normally. “The #American_Crimes_in_Yemen account will remain a thorn in America and its agents’ side[s],” its new author vowed.