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Al Qaeda dealt battlefield, court setbacks with 2 dead, 1 guilty plea

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Two brothers who were mid-level leaders in al Qaeda are killed in Yemen
  • In Germany, a 25-year-old man pleads guilty to belonging to an al Qaeda fundraising cell
  • The fundraiser also confessed to being trained for combat operations in Pakistan

(CNN) -- Al Qaeda suffered setbacks on the battlefield and in court Thursday, with two mid-level leaders being killed in southern Yemen, that country's state-run media reported.

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old German national pleaded guilty in Frankfurt to charges of belonging to an al Qaeda terror cell that trained him in Pakistan, a court spokesman told CNN.

In Yemen, the brothers who were al Qaeda leaders, Musaed and Abdullah al-Harad, were killed in Shabwa, where security forces were hunting for them, a security source told Yemen's state-run website.

The two had been involved in several terrorist operations in the past, the source told the digital media outlet.

In Germany, al Qaeda operative Rami Makenesi provided a confession to all charges in exchange for a prison sentence of no more than five years, the spokesman said.

Makenesi traveled to Pakistan in March 2009 and joined al Qaeda after a stay in a terrorist training camp, according to a statement by the office of the federal prosecutor. Makenesi also participated in combat operations in Pakistan, the prosecutor said.

On Makenesi's request, a high-ranking al Qaeda leader released him from further participation in combat operations and ordered him to support the cause by collecting funds in Europe, the prosecutor's statement said. Makenesi was also ordered to be available for other, unspecified missions, the prosecutor said.

Makenesi had to raise 20,000 euros (more than $29,000) every six months and was supposed to act as a contact in Germany, the prosecutor said.

Makenesi was arrested in Pakistan on his way back to Germany last June by Pakistani security forces and was transferred to the German authorities in August, authorities said.

Journalist Roman Lehberger and CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom contributed to this report.