The United States has killed four key al-Qaeda militants linked to the recent threat that led to the temporary closing of diplomatic facilities across the Middle East, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.
The official said “we got the operational guys we were after,” explaining they were killed in a drone strike in Yemen. According to officials, the U.S. had managed to winnow down the regionwide al-Qaeda threat to “a possible vehicle-borne bombing attack” against the U.S. embassy in Yemen.
Though the drone strike was successful and there have been so far been no embassy attacks, the official also warned that “The threat remains real and serious.” Another official told ABC that drone strikes had killed roughly three dozen people in Yemen over the last two weeks. The American embassy in the Yemeni capital remains closed.
U.S. embassies across the region were closed in early August, apparently in response to intercepted communications between al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and the leader of the organization’s affiliate in Yemen, which indicated that an attack was imminent.