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AQAP Confirms Rimi’s Death, Appoints Successor

AQAP Confirms Rimi’s Death, Appoints Successor

Sunday, 23 February, 2020 - 18:45
Al-Rimi seen in two undated Yemeni interior ministry documents. AFP file phjoto
Asharq Al-Awsat

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on Sunday confirmed that its leader Qassim al-Rimi was killed, and announced his successor, the SITE monitor said, weeks after the US revealed it had "eliminated" him.

The announcement came in an audio speech delivered by AQAP official Hamid bin Hamoud al-Tamimi, said SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant networks worldwide.

In his speech, Tamimi spoke at length about Rimi, and stated that Khalid bin Umar Batarfi is the new leader of AQAP, it said.

SITE said that Batarfi has appeared in many AQAP videos over the past several years and seemed to be Rimi's deputy and group spokesman.

President Donald Trump announced Rimi's death earlier this month, saying the US had "conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen" that eliminated him.

"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 said at the time.

"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."

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