US reportedly takes out another top Islamic terrorist leader, killing head of al-Qaeda in Yemen

The year 2020 is not getting off to a good start for terrorist leaders, with President Donald Trump making it clear that he means business, even as Democrats continue their obsession with impeachment.

Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed by a U.S. drone strike January, the New York Times reported. The terrorist is believed to have been killed in Wadi Abedah, located in central Yemen — the region is reportedly an al Qaeda hotbed.

American intelligence officials designated al-Rimi the third most dangerous terrorist in the world.

“The [U.S.] officials expressed confidence that the Qaeda leader, Qassim al-Rimi, was killed in a January airstrike in Yemen but were awaiting confirmation before making a public announcement,” the Times reported.

Well, the president appeared to confirm the death Saturday morning, retweeting a Yahoo News report on al-Rimi’s death, along with a six post thread from Rita Katz on the Yemen-based terrorist leader’s demise — Katz is director of the SITE Intelligence Group.

Trained by al Qaeda in Afghanistan, al-Rimi was sentenced to five years in prison in 2005 for plotting to kill the American ambassador in Yemen, his native country, the Times reported. He would break out of jail a year later, eventually coming to lead the al Qaeda affiliate there.

Thomas Joscelyn, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in DC, told the newspaper al-Rimi was an “important figure,” and that his “career started in the camps in pre-9/11 Afghanistan.”

“After he was busted out of prison, he was part of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s relaunch management team, becoming their military commander,” Joscelyn said.

An initial $5 million bounty put on his head by the State Department was doubled to $10 million, which is a clear indication of the threat level he posed to U.S. interests.

As the Times noted, Chief Petty Officer William Owens, a member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, was killed in Yemen in 2017 trying to kill or capture al-Rimi. This reportedly being the first major military operation authorized by President Trump.

After the unsuccessful raid, the terrorist leader released an 11-minute audio recording taunting President Trump.

“The new fool of the White House received a painful slap across his face,” al-Rimi said at the time, according to CNN.

The latest blow to terrorism comes on the heels of the death of Iran’s terrorist general Qasem Soleimani, who was the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and widely seen as the country’s most powerful military commander.

Soleimani, killed in a U.S. drone strike the first week in January, also taunted Trump for his “idiotic comments on Twitter.”

“[I]t has been over a year since Trump became U.S. president, but that man’s rhetoric is still that of a casino, of a bar,” the general said in July 2018. “He talks to the world in the style of a bartender or a casino manager.”

Be that as it may, when it comes to terrorists, Trump offers more than just rhetoric.

In addition to the strikes this year, in October, U.S. special forces troops killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State terrorist group, aka ISIS.

Tom Tillison

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