Al Qaeda leader in Yemen killed by US airstrike

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The White House on Thursday confirmed the death of the leader of an Al Qaeda-linked group during an airstrike in Yemen last month.

Pentagon officials believed Qassim al-Rimi had been killed in the airstrike in Wadi Abedah but his death was not confirmed until the White House released a statement on the matter this week. Also killed in the counterterrorism operation was a deputy of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, though the White House did not say who.

Al-Rimi, 41, led Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a terror network considered to be among the most dangerous in the world.

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The CIA learned of al-Rimi’s location through an informant in Yemen in November, according to The New York Times. The agency began tracking him through aerial surveillance and other means.

A $10 million bounty had been offered for information leading to al-Rimi’s capture by the State Department at the time of his death.

In 2006, al-Rimi and his associates escaped from a prison in Yemen, where he was being held for plotting to kill an American ambassador, and created an Al Qaeda branch there.

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