Sunday, June 1, 2014 5:12 pm
DUBAI (AFP) – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula announced Sunday it has executed four people accused of placing tracking devices on vehicles to help US drones target jihadists.
In a video posted online by AQAP, four suspects described as “spies” say they placed tracking devices on the vehicles of jihadists killed in drone attacks two years ago in the southern Shabwa province.
An AQAP security official named Abu Islam al-Muhajer said in the video that US and Yemeni authorities were behind the drone attacks.
The United States is the only country operating drones over Yemen, but US officials rarely acknowledge the covert operations.
The drone programme has been defended by both the White House and Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, in the face of protests by human rights groups over civilian casualties.
The raids target fighters from AQAP, which has been linked to scores of botched or thwarted terror attacks on the US homeland.
Around 60 suspected jihadists were killed in a wave of drone attacks in mid-April that struck AQAP training camps and bases in Yemen.