- The death of the AQAP leader had been reported last week by The New York Times, but was only confirmed today by the American government.
- "His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qaeda movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security."
- Al Rimi was the military chief of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a position in which he managed to recruit a new generation of terrorists to be part of the organization.
US President Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday that Qassem al Rimi, leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed in an American military operation in Yemen. “At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and a deputy to al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri,” the White House said in a statement.
The death of the AQAP leader had been reported last week by The New York Times, but was only confirmed today by the American government. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is one of the most dangerous branches of the terrorist organization, and has already carried out several attacks against the interests of the United States in Yemen. The operation against Al Rimi represents a massive blow to the group.
The Times reported last Friday that US intelligence services believed they had killed the terrorist leader in an airstrike in January. Al Rami, 41, was followed for months by the American government. He was one of the founders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, very close to the organization’s current leader, Ayman al Zawahiri. He worked for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
In the statement released today, the White House says that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has committed several acts of violence against the civilian population in Yemen, and has inspired several attacks against American forces around the world.
Last Sunday, the group claimed responsibility for an attack by a member of the Saudi Arabian Air Force who was studying at a military base in Florida and shot and killed three people in early December.
“His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qaeda movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security,” said the White House statement, signed by Trump. According to sources, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) located Al Rimi in November, thanks to an informant in Yemen, and began monitoring him with drones. He has led Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula since 2015, after the death of Naser al Wahishi, also the target of an American operation in the country.
Until then, Al Rimi was the military chief of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a position in which he managed to recruit a new generation of terrorists to be part of the organization. The United States included him on the list of most-wanted terrorists in 2010 and offered $ 10 million for information leading to his capture.
In Brazil, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of President Jair Bolsonaro, commented on the matter via social media, in which he congratulated the American government on the decision. ”Under the great leadership of Donald J. Trump, the world is getting safer and safer. Congratulations to the American people for this victory in the war against terrorism,” he declared.