As the media goes nuts over President Trump’s acquittal and his description of the impeachment saga as “bullsh*t,” the U.S. military is quietly going about its business of making the world a safer place.
This week, the White House released a statement confirming the U.S. had wiped out the 41-year-old leader of the head of al-Qaida’s most “lethal branch during a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.
The complete White House statement reads:
At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and a deputy to al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Rimi joined al-Qa’ida in the 1990s, working in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden. 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.
His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qa’ida movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security. The United States, our interests, and our allies are safer as a result of his death.
We will continue to protect the American people by tracking down and eliminating terrorists who seek to do us harm.
While the statement doesn’t give an exact date for the strike, it’s believed al-Rimi was killed on January 25th. NBC News reports, Tribal leaders in Yemen said (last) Saturday that a suspected U.S. drone strike destroyed a building housing al-Qaida militants the previous week, and Trump retweeted several tweets and media reports that seemed to offer confirmation that the Jan. 25 strike killed al-Rimi.
Al-Rimi’s death warrant was signed in 2015 when he was put on the most-wanted terrorist list after taking over the al-Qaida branch in Yemen.
In 2017, a Navy SEAL raid in Yemen had a secret objective to capture or kill al-Rimi, but he survived, according to military and intelligence officials. While 14 al-Qaida fighters were killed, so too were some civilians, along with Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens of SEAL Team 6.
Still at large is Ayman al-Zawahiri, but you can bet the U.S. will eventually get him too. Al-Zawahiri has been indicted in the U.S. for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya which killed 224 people.
He’s got a price on his head of $25 million, for information leading to his apprehension or conviction.
But if our side has anything to do with it, he’ll never make it to a courtroom alive.