President Donald Trump said the U.S. killed Qassim al-Raymi, leader of the Arab Peninsula Islamist group al-Qaeda (AQAP), in a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen on Thursday.
“Under Rimi, AQAP perpetrated unconscionable aggression against Yemen’s civilians and tried to execute and encourage numerous attacks on the U.S. and our military,” Trump said in one statement.
“His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qaeda movement and brings us closer to eliminating the threats to our national security posed by these groups,” the president said. He did not say when they killed Raymi.
The United States considers AQAP one of the deadliest branches of the al-Qaeda network established by Osama bin Laden.
Reports in Yemen in recent days have suggested that Raymi was killed in a drone strike at Marib. Reuters could not verify the reports.
One official in the Yemeni government told Reuters there had been a drone strike in Marib but it was not Raymi who was killed.