The United States (US) conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula - Photo by Wikipedia

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The United States (US) conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the White House announced yesterday (02/06). His deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri also was killed in a US airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump.

Recently, al-Rimi claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting in December at the Naval Air Station Pensacola where a Saudi officer cadet killed three American sailors. The shooter, Saudi Air Force officer Mohammed Alshamrani, opened fire inside a classroom at the base, killing three people and wounding two others before he was killed. Eight other people were also hurt.

He joined al-Qa’ida in the 1990s, working in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden. Under him, AQAP committed unconscionable violence against civilians in Yemen and sought to conduct and inspire numerous attacks against the US and forces.

“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. Our interests, and our allies are safer as a result of his death. We will continue to protect the American people by tracking down and eliminating terrorists who seek to do us harm,” said the White House in an official statement.

Al-Rimi, who leads al-Qaeda in the AQAP, was tracked for several months using aerial surveillance and other intelligence sources before the airstrike was carried out. The strike was reported last week and is thought to have been carried out early in January, but this is the first official confirmation of his death.

The leader becoming a key target for the US government which put a US$10 million bounty on his head. The jihadist’ death is a major blow for the terror group, which has plotted several attacks on targets in the US and Europe.

While Trump confirmed reports that al-Rimi had been killed, he did not say when the US operation was conducted or offer any details about how it was carried out.

– Telegraph contributed to this story

by Linda Silaen, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com