NICOSIA ø A key Al Qaida operative has been assassinated in
Mohammed Shreidi, linked to the Al Qaida-aligned Usbat Al Ansar, was
shot dead by unidentified assailants on Wednesday in the Ein Hilwe refugee
camp. Usbat has used Ein Hilwe as its key base of operations since 2001.
Shreidi, 18, was the son of Hisham Shreidi, the founder of Usbat. He was
killed in Ein Hilwe in 1991.
The Fatah movement led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat,
which controls Ein Hilwe, is believed to have shot Mohammed, the last
surviving son in the Shreidi family. Fatah and Usbat have been feuding for
the last two years
amid a campaign of bombings and shootouts in Ein Hilwe, Middle East Newsline reported.
Fatah sources has blamed Usbat for several bombings and other attacks in
Ein Hilwe. They include four bombings in the refugee camp on Sunday in which
nobody was injured.
In July 2003, Mohammed's brother, Abdullah Shreidi, died after an
assassination attempt two months earlier. Abdullah led the Usbat-aligned Nur
Al Ansar faction in the camp, with a population of 75,000.
In an unrelated development, Al Qaida said Saudi Arabia has killed a
leading operative. A pro-Al Qaida website identified the operative as Amer
Al Shihri, cited as one of the top 26 fugitives wanted by the kingdom.
The website said Al Shihri was killed in a gun battle in a Riyad
neighborhood and was secretly buried in the desert. Saudi authorities later
located the body and conducted DNA tests to determine its identity.
On Thursday, British Airways canceled flights to Saudi Arabia and the
United States scheduled for next week in wake of an alert of an Al Qaida
attack. A BA statement said the cancellation came in response to a request
by the British government.