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AQAP confirms death of leader, appoints successor

February 23, 2020

US President Donald Trump declared Qassim al-Raymi had been killed earlier this month but now the terrorist group has now confirmed this. The new leader of AQAP is Khalid bin Umar Batarfi, according to reports.

Al-Qaida leader Qassim al-Raymi
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/EPA/Stringer

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) confirmed the death of its leader, Qassim al-Raymi, and appointed his successor, a jihadist monitoring agency said Sunday.

President Donald Trump announced al-Raymi's death on February 6. Trump said he had been killed as part of a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

However, it has only now been confirmed by AQAP religious official Hamid bin Hamoud al-Tamimi, SITE Intelligence Group reported.

The announcement came in an audio speech delivered by al-Tamimi, said SITE.

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

The United States deems AQAP as one of the deadliest branches of the Al Qaeda network founded by Osama bin Laden.

jsi/aw (AFP, Reuters)

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