Trump says U.S. operation killed Al Qaeda leader in Yemen
February 7, 2020 - The United States has conducted a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen that killed Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), President Donald Trump said.
Al Qaeda affiliate AQAP has long been considered the global network’s most dangerous branch for its attempts to carry out attacks on the U.S. mainland. Trump said the U.S. and its allies are safer as a result of al-Rimi’s death.
While Trump confirmed reports that al-Rimi had been killed, he did not say when the U.S. operation was conducted or offer any details about how it was carried out.
Al-Rimi had said in an 18-minute video released by AQAP on Sunday that his group was responsible for last year’s shooting at a U.S. naval base in Pensacola, Florida, where a Saudi aviation trainee killed three American sailors.
Trump’s announcement confirmed earlier indications that al-Rimi had been killed. In late January, a suspected U.S. drone strike destroyed a building housing Al Qaeda militants in eastern Yemen.