Trump appears to confirm killing of al-Qaida leader in Yemen

An Air Force carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Navy Ensign Joshua Watson at Dover Air Force Base Del. Al-Qaida's branch in Yemen claimed responsibility Sunday for last year's deadly shooting at the Naval Air Station P

US Expects Confirmation of al-Qaeda's Leader Death - Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. -President Donald Trump signaled the confirmation of the death of Qassim al-Rimi, the Yemini leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization shortly after a senate vote to block more witnesses in his impeachment hearing was conducted.

The Yemeni tribal leaders said the drone strike took place in the Wadi Ubaidah area in the eastern province of Marib.

The tribal leaders said at least three explosions hit the area, and the building was set ablaze.

It was not immediately clear how many militants were in the building at the time or their identities.

In 2017, days after a special forces raid on a compound in Yemen in which a U.S. soldier was killed, Rimi taunted Trump, saying in a recorded message: "The new fool of the White House received a painful slap across his face".

The al-Qaeda terrorist group has reportedly been plotting attacks against the United States and Europe.

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Al-Rimi, a veteran terror chief, was implicated in the 2008 attack on the American embassy in Sana, Yemen that killed 14, as well as in an "underwear bombing" plot in 2009, according to the New York Times.

Among Mr Trump's retweets was a thread by Rita Katz, director of the Site Intelligence Group which tracks messaging by militant groups.

A US Defense Official told CNN, "While we are aware of the reports alleging the death of AQAP leader Qassim al-Rimi, the Department of Defense has nothing to offer on this matter". Katz said the attack took place January 25 and she began tweeting about it January 27.

Bruce Riedel, a 30-year veteran former Central Intelligence Agency officer, said if reports of al-Rimi's death were true, it could mean a massive blow to AQAP's influence in the region.

Katz said that of all living al-Qaida leaders, al-Rimi "was the most compelling, known for his charisma & beloved across the AQ community".

If confirmed, the death would be a significant blow to AQAP, which is widely considered to be one of al Qaeda's most potent affiliates, and which has attempted to carry out attacks on the USA mainland. Al-Qaida and an Islamic State affiliate have exploited the chaos to expand their presence in the country.

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