Trump confirms killing of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula chief in Yemen

Trump confirms killing of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula chief in Yemen

US President Donald Trump confirmed Thursday that the US hadkilled the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, days after theextremist group claimed responsibility for a mass shooting at a US naval base.

The US "conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen thatsuccessfully eliminated Qassim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of Al-Qaeda inthe Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)," Trump said in a White Housestatement.

Washington considers AQAP to be the worldwide extremistnetwork's most dangerous branch.

"Under Rimi, AQAP committed unconscionable violence againstcivilians in Yemen and sought to conduct and inspire numerous attacksagainst the United States and our forces," Trump said.

"His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qaedamovement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups poseto our national security," he added.

Trump did not give any details about the circumstances or thetiming of the operation.

In the Pensacola attack, eight people were wounded,including two responding sheriff's deputies, before police shot dead theassailant.

The FBI formally identified the attacker as Mohammed Alshamrani,21, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force who was training inthe US.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman was quick to denounce the shooting asa "heinous crime" and said the gunman "does not represent the Saudi people."

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