Qasim al-Raymi Bio – Wiki
Qasim al-Raymi the leader of al-Qaida’s Yemen branch is believed to have been killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this year. U.S. forces had been tracking al-Raymi for months, and there was a $10 million price on his head.
Qasim al-Raymi Age
He was 46 years old.
Early life, Afghanistan and al-Qaeda in Yemen
Al-Raymi was born on June 5, 1978 in the Raymah Governorate, near the Yemen capital of Sana’a. He was a trainer at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan during the 1990s before returning to Yemen. In 2004, he was imprisoned for five years for being suspected in a series of embassy bombings in the capital.
After escaping from prison in 2006, al-Raymi, along with Nasir al-Wuhayshi, oversaw the formation of al-Qaeda in Yemen, which took in both new recruits and experienced Arab fighters returning from battlefields across Iraq and Afghanistan.
The group claimed responsibility for two suicide bomb attacks that killed six Western tourists before being linked to the assault on the US embassy in Sana’a in September 2008, in which militants detonated bombs and fired rocket-propelled grenades. Ten Yemeni guards and four civilians were killed, along with six assailants.
A Yemeni individual held in Guantanamo, Ali Yahya Mahdi Al Raimi, faced allegations he was brother to a senior member of al Qaeda, named Qasim Yahya Mahdi Abd Al-Rimi or Qassem Yahya Mahdi Al Reemi. This brother was said to also be known as Abu Hurayrah, Doctor Hurayrah and Abu Hajer. He was said to have been a physical fitness instructor at al Qaeda’s Al Farouq training camp, in Afghanistan.
It is unclear whether the strike was carried out by the U.S. military or the CIA. Spokespersons for U.S. Central Command, the National Security Council and the CIA declined to comment.
For more than five years, al-Raymi, a native of Yemen, had eluded U.S. forces as he led what experts sometimes refer to as al-Qaida’s “most dangerous franchise.” If confirmed, his death would be “very significant,” said Mick Mulroy, who was deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East until late last year.
“He’s a real bad actor,” said Mulroy, who is also a retired CIA paramilitary operations officer and an ABC news analyst. “This is a big win for us.”
Al-Raymi, 41, had been on the United States’ radar for years. After training other militants in al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan during the 1990s, he returned to Yemen and became a commander of AQAP, according to the U.S. government’s Rewards for Justice website. In 2005 he was sentenced to five years in prison for planning to assassinate the U.S. ambassador, but he escaped the following year.
Since then he has been linked to some of AQAP’s highest-profile attacks, including a September 2008 assault on the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, that killed 10 Yemeni guards and six civilians.
After swearing allegiance to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Raymi was named the emir of AQAP in 2015. The United States offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts in 2014 and raised it to $10 million in 2018.
This was not the first time the United States had tried to get al-Raymi. He was the target of the Jan. 29, 2017, special operations raid in which Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was killed, according to Mulroy. “The United States never forgets,” he said.