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Al Qaeda: Air strike killed escapee

  • Story Highlights
  • Statement did not say when or where al-Shami was killed
  • Fellow escapees al-Faruq was killed and al-Qahtani was captured
  • Al-Libi remains the old escapee; has given videotaped speeches trying to recruit
  • CNN could not verify authenticity of statement
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(CNN) -- An al Qaeda "military leader" who escaped from a U.S. prison in Afghanistan in 2005 was killed in a recent U.S. airstrike, according to a statement posted on radical Islamic Web sites known to carry messages from al Qaeda.

"Abu Abdallah al-Shami was killed in a U.S. airstrike," the statement said. "After god rescued him and 3 others from the Bagram jail, and as soon as his feet touched the battlefield, he picked up his jihad with more strength and stronger determination. He led and participated in many successful military operations."

The statement, which called al-Shami a military leader and hero, did not say when or where he was killed.

The statement said al-Shami escaped from the U.S. prison in 2005 with three others, including key al Qaeda figure Omar al-Faruq. Faruq died in a British airstrike earlier.

A second escapee, Abu Nasir al-Qahtani, was captured in Afghanistan in 2006. That leaves Abu Yahya al-Libi as the only escapee who has not been killed or captured. Al-Libi has been very active in recent years, giving videotaped speeches praising al Qaeda leaders, urging resistance and trying to recruit new members.

The statement was dated July 14 but was posted Thursday on several Web sites.

CNN could not verify the authenticity of the statement. There was no immediate response from the U.S. military.

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