The United States carried out an airstrike in January that killed a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s affiliate in Yemen after months of tracking him, according to current and former government officials.
New York Post Qassim al-Rimi, 41, was killed in the January strike but officials had been waiting to confirm the information before making public statement, the New York Times reports.
President Trump appeared to confirm reports that a US drone killed the leader of al Qaeda’s Yemen branch by posting — without comment — a series of retweets Saturday.
The Yemen branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has been keen to attack the U.S. and Europe. Confirmation of al-Rimi’s death would mean a significant blow for the group.
Al-Rimi, a veteran terror chief, was implicated in the 2008 attack on the American embassy in Sana, Yemen that killed 14, as well as in an “underwear bombing” plot in 2009, according to the New York Times.
He was the target of the first military operation Trump ordered as president, a January 2017 raid that left a Navy SEAL dead. (See video below) “The fool of the White House got slapped at the beginning of his road in your lands,” al-Rimi scoffed at the time.