President Donald Trump confirmed on Feb. 6 that U.S. forces have killed Qassim al-Rimi, leader of the extremist Islamist group al Qaeda (also al-Qaida) in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al-Rimi claimed responsibility for Decembers tragic shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida that left three people dead.
Al-Rimi killed in a counterterrorism operation in Yemen, Trump confirmed in a statement on Thursday evening, without elaborating on the date of their deaths.
“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-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and a deputy to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri,” a statement from the White House read.
Rimi joined al Qaeda in the 1990s, working in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden.
“Under Rimi, AQAP committed unconscionable violence against civilians in Yemen and sought to conduct and inspire numerous attacks against the United States and our forces,” Trump continued.
“His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qaida movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security,” the president said.
AQAP, formed in 2009, has long been considered by the United States as one of the deadliest branches of the al Qaeda network founded by Osama bin Laden.
Trump added that the United States, its interests, and allies are safer as a result of Al-Rimis death.
Al-Rimi previously released an 18-minute video claiming that his group was responsible for the Pensacola shooting on Dec. 6, in which three U.S. sailors were killed and eight other Americans were wounded.
In the video, Al-Rimi called the shooter—Royal Saudi Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, 21—a “courageous knight” and a “hero.”
Attorney General William Barr and other senior law enforcement officials said last month that the attack was an “act of terrorism” motivated by “jihadist ideology.”
Federal officials said investigators found evidence that Alshamrani was motivated by jihadist ideology, including a social media message posted on Sept. 11 last year, stating, “The countdown has bRead More – Source