Trump Announces Death of Yemeni al-Qaeda Leader

White House says some other al-Qaeda figure also slain

On Thursday, President Trump announced that the US had killed Qasim al-Rimi, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in a recent US drone strike. Details on when and where, beyond Yemen, were not made public.

Trump had suggested this was the case earlier in the week, re-tweeting reports from others that Rimi was killed. The Pentagon, at the time, denied any involvement in killing anyone in Yemen.

The White House didn’t clarify any more, but did say that the drone strike killed not only Rimi, but some non-specific other al-Qaeda figured, described as a deputy of Ayman al-Zawahiri.

It’s possible that the drone strike was not carried out by the US military, but rather by the CIA. That’s increasingly unusual in recent years, with the Pentagon seeking to control most of the drone program. That would explain the lack of specificity, as the CIA keeps its strikes secret, and the Pentagon is obliged to offer at least some clarity on what they’re doing.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of