(ASSOCIATED PRESS) SANAA, Yemen -- Al Qaeda's Yemen branch said Thursday that it killed an American teacher because he was trying to spread Christianity in the mainly Muslim Arab nation.
Joel Shrum, a 29-year-old native of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, was gunned down on Sunday in the central city of Taiz, where he had been living with his wife and two sons. He was studying Arabic and teaching English at a language institute.
The claim of responsibility, which was posted on a militant website, comes as the terror network increasingly has sought to exploit the political turmoil in the Arab world's most impoverished nation.
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"It was God's gift for the mujahedeen to kill the American Joel Shrum who was actively proselytizing under the cover of teaching in Taiz," said the statement by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the terror network's Yemen branch is formally known.