News

National Security & Defense

White House Confirms Al-Qaeda’s Leader in Yemen Killed in Airstrike

(Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters)

The White House announced Thursday night that an airstrike ordered by President Trump had killed al-Qaeda’s leader in Yemen.

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

Reports broke last week that Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of the group, had been killed after months of surveillance. While the White House released few details on the nature of the operation, an intelligence official told the New York Times that the CIA had carried out the mission with an unmanned drone, after learning of his location from an informant in November.

Al-Rimi was one of the last remaining members of al-Qaeda to be with the group since before 9/11, joining Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. In 2005, he was sentenced to five years in prison in Yemen for plotting to kill the American ambassador, but escaped a year later.

“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,” the White House statement reads.

Al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate AQAP had been widely regarded as the group’s most dangerous wing. In 2015, it claimed responsibility for the 2015 attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that killed twelve people.

Audio released Sunday showed al-Rimi claiming “full responsibility” for the December 6 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi national, who left a trail of anti-American social media posts in the wake of killing three people.

Most Popular

Media

‘Undiagnosed Sociopath’

As we abandon moral language for clinical language, we run into technical difficulties. Writing in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman describes the 2020 presidential election as one that may be a contest between “a self-proclaimed socialist and an undiagnosed sociopath.” There is no such thing as an ... Read More
Media

‘Undiagnosed Sociopath’

As we abandon moral language for clinical language, we run into technical difficulties. Writing in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman describes the 2020 presidential election as one that may be a contest between “a self-proclaimed socialist and an undiagnosed sociopath.” There is no such thing as an ... Read More
Elections

Bernie Sanders Is a Moral Monster

Bernie Sanders complains that some criticism of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is “unfair.” The Castro government lined up political dissidents and shot them. It tortured them. It weaponized the medical profession to torture and deform its critics. Its campaign of murder was extraordinary, its ... Read More
Elections

Bernie Sanders Is a Moral Monster

Bernie Sanders complains that some criticism of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is “unfair.” The Castro government lined up political dissidents and shot them. It tortured them. It weaponized the medical profession to torture and deform its critics. Its campaign of murder was extraordinary, its ... Read More