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Reports Say Trump Administration Killed Another Top Al Qaeda Leader, Qassim al-Rimi


It looks like President Trump killed another one!

Reports are saying that the Trump Administration took down another top terrorist back in January.

The Trump Administration has not yet confirmed and it reportedly awaiting final confirmation.  

This one is extra sweet as al-Rimi mocked President Trump back in 2017, as reported by the NY Post:

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.

Qassim al-Rimi, head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was the target of a January airstrike in Yemen, soon after another US strike killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, CNN reported Friday.

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.

“The fool of the White House got slapped at the beginning of his road in your lands,” al-Rimi scoffed at the time.

Military and national security officials refused to comment on media reports on al-Rimi’s possible death.

But Trump retweeted posts from an independent intelligence analyst that said a targeted US attack on Jan. 25 took out the elusive terrorist.

I don’t think he’s mocking anymore. 

Here's more from The Hill:

U.S. officials reportedly believe they killed the leader of al Qaeda's branch in Yemen using an airstrike.

The New York Times, citing three current and former American officials, reported that the administration is confident that the al Qaeda leader, Qassim al-Rimi, was killed in a January airstrike in Yemen but has not yet confirmed the death. 

President Trump highlighted reports of al-Rimi's death on Saturday, retweeting a reporter and a member of a group that tracks terrorists online who had posted about al-Rimi’s apparent killing.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding the Times’s report. The Pentagon said it had no information on the reported strike.

Should it be confirmed, the death would be a significant blow to al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, which is widely considered to be one of its most potent affiliates. 

While the group’s ability to strike Western targets has deteriorated in recent years, it has been connected with several high-profile plots, including the attempted underwear bombing on Christmas in 2009. 

A U.S. official who was briefed on the strike told the Times that the CIA learned of al-Rimi’s whereabouts from an informer in Yemen in November and that the government used tracking drones to follow him.

CNN confirms:

The United States conducted a strike recently targeting Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group's franchise based in Yemen that has repeatedly expressed interest in conducting attacks targeting the United States, a US official told CNN on Friday.

The New York Times reported that three current or former American officials expressed confidence that Rimi had been killed in a January airstrike in Yemen.

Asked about the report, the Pentagon would not elaborate on the situation.

"While we are aware of the reports alleging the death of AQAP leader Qassim al-Rimi, the Department of Defense has nothing to offer on this matter," a US Defense Official told CNN.

The US government through its Rewards for Justice program had offered up to a $10 million reward for information on him.

Officials continue to assess whether Rimi was killed in the strike through a variety of methods including monitoring social media and messaging apps regarding chatter about his possible death.

The CIA declined to comment on the report.

Many observers have considered AQAP among the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous, branch of al Qaeda since its formation in 2009.

Rimi reportedly became its leader following a 2015 drone strike that killed Nasir al-Wuhayshi.

He released an audio message taunting President Donald Trump days after a 2017 US Special Operations Forces raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen that led to the first US military combat death during the Trump Administration.

In an 11-minute recording, the AQAP leader condemned the raid, saying, "The new fool of the White House received a painful slap across his face."

US officials said that valuable intelligence was retrieved in the raid.

Last April, the US military carried out a series of six airstrikes in Yemen targeting the local al Qaeda affiliate there.

They were the first US airstrikes in Yemen since January 1, 2019 when the US conducted two strikes, including one that killed Jamal al-Badawi, an al Qaeda operative linked to the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

The US has sought to prevent al Qaeda from exploiting the chaos of Yemen's civil war to establish a safe haven, but the number of US military strikes has declined sharply over the last few years.

"In coordination with the government of Yemen, US forces continue to support ongoing counterterrorism operations against AQAP and ISIS-Y to disrupt and destroy militants' attack-plotting efforts, networks, and freedom of maneuver within the region," Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a spokesman for US Central Command, said in a statement at the time.

The US did not release details of any casualties from those strikes.


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