He was seen as a potential successor to the al-Qaeda chief.

He was seen as a potential successor to the al-Qaeda chief.

The White House confirmed in a statement on Thursday that an operation in Yemen killed Qassim al-Rimi, co-founder and leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Why it matters:Reports of Rimi’s death via an airstrike circulated last weekend, but President Trump did not directly confirm the event. Al-Rimi had been a U.S. target for years, per the Washington Post, and was a deputy to standing al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

  • Rimi also claimed responsibility for the 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, wherein three American soldiers were killed, AP reports.

What they’re saying: “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,” per the White House statement.

  • “His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qa’ida movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security. The United States, our interests, and out allies are safer as a result of his death.”

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