The White House announced on Thursday evening that the leader and co-founder of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Qassim al-Rimi, was killed last month in a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.
Formed in 2009, Yemen-based AQAP claimed responsibility for last year's shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, where a Saudi aviation trainee killed three American sailors. Rimi was a target of a January 2017 raid on an Al Qaeda compound in Yemen, and in the days following it he released a video taunting President Trump over the failed operation, saying, "the new fool in the White House received a painful slap across the face."
"The United States, our interests, and our allies are safer as a result of his death," the White House said. "We will continue to protect the American people by tracking down and eliminating terrorists who seek to do us harm." Catherine Garcia