US Drone Strike in Yemen Killed 12-Year-Old Student

Officials Had Previously Identified Him as 'Al-Qaeda Militant'

Details on the Monday US drone strike against Yemen have begun to emerge, and one of the three “al-Qaeda militants” slain turned out to have been a 12-year-old student named Mohammed Saleh Qayed Taeiman.

Taeiman’s father and older brother had been killed in US drone strikes back in 2012, and another of his brothers was wounded in another strike. Taeiman was in sixth grade.

Yet sixth grade and related to other victims of drone strikes was enough for him to be labeled a “militant,” while human rights group the Yemeni National Organization for Drone Victims dubbed him a “normal kid” who had recently been released from a Yemeni government hospital after being kicked by a camel.

The other victims of the drone strike included a farm worker who was married to a woman in Taeiman’s family, and a third person who is as yet unidentified. In both cases, the US claimed they were also al-Qaeda.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.