Sanaa, Yemen -- It could be a major breakthrough for U.S. efforts to cripple al-Qaida in Yemen.
Defense Ministry officials say a missile that was apparently fired by a U.S. drone has killed al-Qaida's second-ranking leader in Yemen, along with five others traveling with him in one car.
The terror group's branch in the nation on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula is considered to be the most active in the world, involved in planning and carrying out attacks on targets in the United States and elsewhere.
The U.S. doesn't usually comment on drone missile strikes like this one, though it has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.
Saeed al-Shihri would be the latest in a series of al-Qaida figures killed in drone strikes. They include Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born man who was linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests.
Al-Shihri fought in Afghanistan and spent six years at Guantanamo Bay before being released and going through Saudi Arabia's so-called "rehabilitation" institutes. It's a program designed to replace militant ideology with religious moderation.
But on his release, he headed south to Yemen, and became deputy to the leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.