President Donald Trump’s campaign of taking out the world’s top terrorist threats scored another victory last month with a drone strike against a known leader of the al Qaeda network in Yemen.
The New York Times reported that CIA officials were awaiting confirmation that a strike launched last month against Qaeda leader Qassim al-Rimi was successful.
“If confirmed, his death could represent a significant blow to the Qaeda affiliate, which remains one of the most potent branches of the terrorist group,” the Times reported.
“The Yemen branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has tried to attack the United States and Europe and is thought to still want to,” the paper added.
If the strike was successful, it would be President Trump’s second high-profile drone strike in as many months.
Earlier this year a strike killed Iranian Quds Force leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani as he was sitting in his car at an airport in Iraq.
Soleimani was responsible for hundreds of U.S. military deaths in that country and was believed to have been plotting new terrorist acts against U.S. and allied targets in the Middle East.
The Times reported the CIA learned about al-Rimi’s location in November from an informant in Yemen and then started to track him using drones and other technology.
“He was an Al Qaeda veteran whose career started in the camps in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. After he was busted out of prison, he was part of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s relaunch management team, becoming their military commander, Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Times.