They Didn't Know What Hit Them

How the U.S. killed a senior al-Qaeda leader without putting a pilot's life at risk

The main prey was a man called Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi. Known as Abu Ali, he was, according to Yemeni officials, a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden's and the local mastermind of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Aden harbor in October 2000. When an American Predator drone fired its Hellfire missile into al-Harethi's car as it moved along a remote desert road east of Yemen's capital Sana'a, it also killed five other people--all of them al-Qaeda operatives, according to the U.S., one a man Yemen says was a U.S. citizen. He was not just any man, it seems....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!