Home News Al-Qaeda leader al-Raymi killed by US strike

Al-Qaeda leader al-Raymi killed by US strike

Two file pictures show jihadist leader Qasim al-Raymi

The United States has killed the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), President Donald Trump said.

Qasim al-Raymi, who has led the jihadist group since 2015, was killed in a US operation in Yemen, the White House said.

The jihadist leader had been linked to a series of attacks on Western interests in the 2000s.

He took over the leadership after his predecessor was killed by a US drone strike.

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AQAP was formed in 2009 from two regional offshoots of Al-Qaeda in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, with the goal of toppling US-backed governments and eliminating all Western influence in the region.

Rumours of Raymi’s death began circulating in late January. In response, AQAP released an audio message with Raymi’s voice on 2 February in which he said AQAP was behind a deadly shooting at a US naval base in Pensacola, Florida.

The shooting took place in December, and the message may have been recorded earlier.

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The statement from the White House confirmed Raymi’s death but it did not say when he was killed.

“His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qaeda movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security,” the statement read.