The United States carried out an airstrike in January that killed a leader of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen after months of tracking him, according to current and former government officials.
Qassim al-Rimi, 41, was killed in the January strike but officials had been waiting to confirm the information before making public statement, the New York Times reports.
The Yemen branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has been keen to attack the U.S. and Europe. Confirmation of al-Rimi’s death would mean a significant blow for the group.
U.S. officials have taken the gentle approach when announcing the success of this particular drone strike as they have learned in the past that they were too-quick to do so for other CIA drone strikes.
While military officials said they weren’t aware of any other attacks, both the CIA and the National Security Council would not comment.
In November, CIA personnel learned of al-Rimi’s location from an informant. The government then started using surveillance drones to track him, according to an U.S. official who was briefed on the strike.
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Source: Daily Mail