The Corner

Big-Deal Elimination

An al Qaeda leader, Kahlid Ali Hajj, was killed in a shootout yesterday. He’s been described in the Middle Eastern press as the real leader of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia (clip from the Daily Times of Pakistan is below).

Khaled Hajj Qaeda chief in Saudi Arabia’

RIYADH: The “real” chief of Al-Qaeda cells in Saudi Arabia is Yemeni national Khaled Hajj rather than Saudi Abdul Aziz al-Megren, who is identified as the leader in the literature of the terror group, a Saudi newspaper reported on Monday.

Asharq Al-Awsat, a leading pan-Arab daily, said in a front-page report that Al Qaeda had designated Megren, 31, as the nominal leader of the group in Saudi Arabia because he is Saudi and this would help ensure the continued support of its sympathisers in the kingdom. The newspaper did not give a source for its report, datelined Dammam in Saudi Arabia’s eastern Province. Asharq Al-Awsat noted that Megren tops the list of militants wanted by authorities for presumed links with a series of suicide bombings that killed 52 people in Riyadh last year. —AFP

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