Al-Qaeda’s future in Yemen after killing of al-Rimi
President Donald Trump said on Friday that the US forces had killed Qassim al-Rimi, al-Qaeda leader in the Arabian Peninsula. The killing of Rimi raises a number of questions about who would be al-Qaeda’s leader after Ayman al-Zawahri.
Al-Rimi, was born on June 5, 1978 in Yemen, was a candidate to take the helm of al-Qaeda after al-Zawahri. His death is considered to be a strategic loss for the terrorist organization. He was one of al-Qaeda leaders who were close to Osama bin Laden.
On June 16, 2015, Rimi took the helm of al-Qaeda branch in the Arabian Peninsula and pledged allegiance to al-Zawahri. On May 7, 2017, Rimi released a video in which he urged his group in the Arabian Peninsula to launch attacks. He praised Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016.
In January 2017, the US forces attacked the headquarters of al-Qaeda organization in Yemen, killing 14 terrorists. However, al-Rimi was not among the killed terrorists.
On Oct. 18, 2018, the US State Department raised a reward for killing Rimi from $5 million to $10 million.
“The $10 million reward was probably why Rimi was killed as some local source located him and notified the US forces,” Saleh Abu Audhal told THE REFERENCE.
“T think al-Qaeda group in Yemen will pick Rimi’s successor in the oil-rich Shabwah Governorate,” Abu Audhal said.
“However, al-Qaeda branch in Yemen won’t be capable of reorganizing themselves if the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood was kicked out of Shabwah. It is important that the al-Qaeda group should be trapped in narrow geographical area like Marib,” he added.